Summer breakers this year 2017/07/24, Source,
OCN drama "Save Me" is about to make the hairs stand on your body.
"Save Me" is a drama based on a false religious group in which four men struggle to save their beloved first love. This is the first drama to balance false religion,...More
[Funcurve Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" 2017/01/28,
Fight or Flight
"Bring It On, Ghost" is a mystery romance drama about a reclusive university student and ghost exorcist, Park Bong-pal (Ok Taecyeon), who falls in love with a feisty ghost with lingering regrets, Kim Hyeon-ji (Kim So-hyun). Though their initial meeting is marked with hilarious savagery, they soon form an alliance, which leads to a budding romance,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Conclusion of the First Annual HanCinema Awards 2017/01/08,
The First Annual HanCinema Awards has concluded successfully thank to you, HanCinema Readers! With over half a million votes in fifteen categories, you let your voices be heard and we couldn't be more pleased! Thank you so much for joining us on this great adventure into film and drama!,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Webtoon Adaptation - And the Winner Is... 2016/12/29,
Webtoons have exploded in popularity in the past few years and it only makes sense for drama to tap into the creativity of the authors. Webtoon adaptations have been extremely successful and you, HanCinema readers, have voted for your favorite. Thank you so much for helping us to make the First Annual HanCinema Awards succesful. We couldn't have done it without you!,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 16 Final 2016/08/30,
The true ending to the huge fight is a slight improvement to what closed out the last episode, since it at least involves proper use of the artifact. But overall I still felt a pretty strong general sense of emptiness at the close of "Bring It On, Ghost". A few sympathetic encounters with his mother can't change the fact that Hye-seong did some pretty horribly evil things, spiritual posession or not,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 15 2016/08/29,
At long last, Myeong-cheol has explained the plot to Bong-pal so that it is here, in the fifteenth episode of a sixteen episode drama, that the main character finally learns that the villain even exists. Writer Lee Dae-il-I is also fairly liberated- he no longer has to come up with convoluted explanations for how Hye-seong is able to commit such horrible crimes without anyone noticing. Lucky thing his plan of hanging out with Hyeon-ji until her memory relapse actually worked,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 14 2016/08/23,
I rather like "Bring It On, Ghost" when it's just about Bong-pal and Hyeon-ji hanging out trying to get the hang of the hold ghost fighting process. This episode helpfully reminds us that Hyeon-ji is by no means a helpless damsel- we've seen plenty of pictures of her in a Tae Kwon Do uniform, it's just never occurred to her that there might be a practical application to these abilities. It's also nice how Hyeon-ji inspires Bong-pal to do fun stuff like may use of Ok Taecyeon's other job talents, and she's impressed by his sincerity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 13 2016/08/22,
As "Bring It On, Ghost" inches ever closer to the climax the various supporting characters have to awkwardly move in order to discover what viewers learned a long time ago- that Hye-seong is a very bad man who is not to be trusted. It bears repeating. Watching Myeong-cheol, Cheon-sang, Im-ran, and the detectives uncover clues would be a lot more engaging if this wasn't just stuff we already knew. Actual new information would be nice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 12 2016/08/16,
A major pivot takes "Bring It On, Ghost" away from ghost fighting as the dramatic emphasis shifts to when and how Hyeon-ji will recover her memories. For Bong-pal the course of action is a simple one- of course he loves her, and is infinitely relieved to discover that Hyeon-ji was in a coma all along. It does take an irritatingly long time for Bong-pal to actually find out what's going on with Hyeon-ji, but the scenes we get when that finally happens are fairly sweet,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 11 2016/08/15,
As expected, Hyeon-ji is not able to escape from Bong-pal for all that long. Actually Hyeon-ji isn't very good at avoiding Hye-seong either, which is especially silly since at least Bong-pal can guess where Hyeon-ji might be hiding. Hye-seong has quickly turned into the big sour point of "Bring It On, Ghost" for me. He's a villain that succeeds, not through being powerful or competent, but by being the beneficiary of dumb luck and some very disturbingly disinterested bystanders,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 10 2016/08/09,
The balance and pacing are unusually spot-on this episode, as effective scene transitions let "Bring It On, Ghost" get through a lot of plot fairly efficiently. There's romantce, a ghost hunt, romance mixed with comedy, a resolution of last episode's ghost plot, then some sad self-reflection as Hyeon-ji takes in all that she's learned. What's even better, important backstory information is sprinkled throughout. The question "who exactly is Myeong-cheol anyway" is finally convincingly answered,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 9 2016/08/08,
I find that "Bring It On, Ghost" is much easier to tolerate if I stop thinking of it as being a drama about ghostfighting and just look at it as a romantic comedy which happens to involve a normal living human dating a ghost. That much does resolve the horrible imbalance when it comes to screentime. The ghost shows up so late this episode I frequently wondered whether we were actually going to get to see the ghost at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 8 2016/08/02,
While the pacing in "Bring It On, Ghost" is slow as usual we do finally get some important information cleared up fairly quickly. It turns out that Hye-seong can in fact see ghosts, the man's just very good at pretending like he can't. What any of this has to do with Bong-pal or Hyeon-ji is still mostly shrouded in mystery, but I'm just glad that the main story is moving forward in perceptible fashion at all. Now there's actual dramatic tension when Hye-seong is on-screen,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 7 2016/08/01,
So apparently ghosts can get...sick? Well, "Bring It On, Ghost" doesn't really belabour this point, so I won't either. All of the weird things that ghosts can apparently do aren't really intended as pararealism anyway. They're just storytelling advices through which Bong-pal can express affection to Hyeon-ji. This much is important, since last episode established that Bong-pal doesn't really have a chance with Seo-yeon, even though she insists on expressing (platonic) interest in him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 6 2016/07/26,
Early on another important mystery is resolved when it comes to ghosts. Apparently they can feel their hearts. Later on we learn that they can also drown. We can add all these to the previous factbook on ghosts which "Bring It On, Ghost" has offered to us, which has previously answered such pertinent questions as can ghosts eat? Can they change clothes? Are they affected by the laws of gravity? That's "Bring It On, Ghost" for you- answering all the questions that no one ever asked,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 5 2016/07/25,
The latest dynamic plot development is that apparently ghosts can sleep. Beyond that, Bong-pal and Hyeon-ji spend most of the episode hanging out as if they were the lead characters in a romantic comedy. Eventually Cheon-sang and Im-rang are able to locate a ghost for the requisite ghost fight. Myeong-cheol provides vague hints of an interesting backstory without actually saying anything useful. Hye-seong is probably the villain but apparently he can't even see ghosts so who knows why he's even in the story at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 4 2016/07/19,
So apparently...ghosts can wear dresses? I don't have any big logical problems with this, it's just that of all the questions "Bring It On, Ghost" could be answering right now "can ghosts wear dresses" really strikes me as the most irrelevant one. Much like the previous episode, this episode is simply another restatement of the same plot points that dominated the first two. Bong-pal and Hyeon-ji have anatagonistic fun, Myeong-cheol is not a very good monk, Cheon-sang and In-rang are a couple of dopes, and we still have no idea what's going on with Hye-seong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 3 2016/07/18,
The format for this episode is mostly the exact same as the first two. Strictly speaking this is not a bad thing, since the first two episodes were quite engaging. But after a certain point rehashing the same jokes gets to be tiring however energetic and fun the relevant performances may be. Myeong-cheol is not a terribly competent priest, and also he tends to make gross sounds. Is the main purpose of his character really just going to be some variation on these jokes every single time?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 2 2016/07/12,
Hyeon-ji discovered last episode that by kissing Bong-pal, she was able to recover some memories. Given how Hyeon-ji is helplessly wandering the world of the living as a ghost with nothing better to do, it is unsurprising that Hyeon-ji wishes to explore this unexpected development further.. However, Hyeon-ji is a teenage girl before she is a ghost, and rather than simply tell Bong-pal her motivation and ask for help, she decides to act weird and clingy for no good reason,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 1 2016/07/11,
Bong-pal (played by Ok Taecyeon) is a college student who pays for his tuition by accepting jobs to fight ghosts. He does not do so through magical means, but rather by punching them, or some variation thereof. Some ghosts are more punchable than others. Hyeon-ji (played by Kim So-hyun) falls into the "harder to punch" category. Initially just toying with Bong-pal, Hyeon-ji eventually realizes that Bong-pal is the only real lead she has in unraveling the mystery behind her own death,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Recurring Trends and Great Ladies 2016/07/09,
What would Dramaland be without its love for trends? The answer is "probably better", but let us not go into the value of those trends for now. They are here and they will join us for the next drama season. Coming up are loves across time and universes as well as two major "reverse harem" productions. I will also talk about tvN as a star magnet and give you the usual weekly news,...More
[Orion's Drama News] The Weight of Representation 2016/07/02,
It is time for some much hyped dramas to make an entrance and two of them are premiering this week. Before getting to that, however I will take a first look at "Incarnation of Jealousy" and its fresh material. I will also give my two cents on an upcoming series and its potential casting which I find highly problematic. Closing this piece are the usual upcoming drama goodies and followed shows,...More
[Orion's Drama News] From Rags to Mega-Riches 2016/06/25,
This week I talk KCON New York and HanCinema's attendance there. I also take a look at the super rich, super smart, super talented and all around perfect character of Lee Jong-suk in "W" and what he might mean in terms of how we write and experience fiction and Korean dramas. Before my upcoming drama goodies and personal watch list, I talk Dramaland ladies and introduce upcoming drama "Woman of Dignity",...More
[Orion's Drama News] "Go Ahead, (Re)Make My Day" 2016/06/11,
It is a week of popularity giants and remakes, as star-studded summer and autumn dramas are already being compared on premise, production and participants. I also take a little look at news on the emerging trend of recreating popular North American series as Korean dramas. Not that the industry has no alternatives or does not remake enough things already, as evident by the third topic I share news of today,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Slumps and Filming Ouchies 2016/05/21,
Since pre-production started getting more popular in drama, I have had hopes things will get better for their quality and the filming conditions. They have in some ways, but big industries will always have their problems, I guess. This week the "Beautiful Mind" mess continues over at KBS, we take a look at one pro of pre-production and check out upcoming titles and the expectations for them,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Stars, Awards and Exports 2016/05/07,
Join me in a week of awards, casting additions and even some new drama announcements. This time around I contemplate the drama race for appeal in the Chinese market, which we all know is becoming a top priority of wannabe-popular series. I also present to you some of our links for the upcoming 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards and take a look at some of the freshly cast or confirmed actors for upcoming dramas,...More
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