Freitag, 29. Januar 2016

God's Quiz 3

신의 퀴즈 3 (God's Quiz 3) is the third season of popular OCN Originial series God's Quiz and aired from May 20th to August 12th 2012.

Story: As in the two seasons before Han Jin-woo and a team of medical experts continue to solve cases involving rare diseases. But the new detecting in charge, Bae Tae-shik, and Jin-woo just won't get along and tend to end up arguing often. As they solve different cases, Han Jin-woo seems to change a lot while getting involved with a rather specific case on his own.

Cast: Let's say that there are some actors that appeared in the first seasons as well. Except for Ryu Deok-hwan as Han Jin-woo - that change of hairstyle though - there are Choi Jung-woo as Jang Kyu-tae, Park Joon-myun as Jo Young-shil and Na Yoon (or Kim Dae-jin) as Kim Sung-do left. I think I've commented on their acting enough already but especially for Ryu Deok-hwan this season was a good opportunity to show a completely different side of Han Jin-woo and therefore his acting.
New in the main cast of this series is Ahn Nae-sang as Bae Tae-shik and he's just what you imagine a veteran detective to be like, especially when it comes to his instincts. But especially at the end of this season you can also see a rather soft side of his character caring for the members of his team like he would care for a family.
Another new addition to the cast is Park Hee-bon as Lee Ran (pronounced as Iran which made me randomly laugh during the first episode). While I thought her character was too bubbly especially in the earlier episodes, I wonder about her background story. It's not like the audience gets that many hints when it's about a character that doesn't appear all the time. And we can't forget about Han Seo-jin as Yoo So-yi. While she's not one of the main characters, she becomes more important in Ep. 8 I think because - without her and Sung-do the team probably wouldn't have known about the case at all.
Oh, and Ko Gyung-pyo has to be mentioned as Seo In-gak since the last two episodes wouldn't make sense without him at all. I knew him because of Flower Boy Next Door but this series shows a completely different side of his acting which is indeed good.

Soundtrack: As it is rather typical for OCN series, the soundtrack is a lot shorter than those for the first seasons and the main focus is put on the story. Though OCN definitely knows how to use instrumentals to highlight the atmosphere, I sometimes miss the songs one would start to love. But that's just a general side note and I seriously loved the fact that Hlin performed a song again, this time called "비밀 (Secret)". Though I personally enjoyed the soundtrack a lot, those who prefer listening to 'real' K-Pop might not like it that much.

After all I found this season to be good, especially Episode 4 hit me harder than I expected any episode of this series could but especially the first episodes until Episode 5 and episodes 10 to 12 were interesting but in the middle I found myself yawning from time to time. Sure the cases were interesting but I know that they can do better. Also it's a shame the comedic part added mostly in Episode 1 with Detective Bae and Dr. Han not getting along at all and arguing in a funny manner disappeared.
Oh, and I just need to get rid of this weight but - I hate extremely religious people. All the talk about God and an alternative in season 2 already bothered me but this time there was this Episode (I think it was Ep. 8?) and I wanted to just skip the whole episode.. but then again not everyone might be that annoyed by that talk.
9.5/10 therefore is my rating of this season, and though many people consider it the best, I'd still go for the second season as my personal favorite. It's worth a watch though and if you really don't like a few things there's still the opportunity to skip some scenes.

Freitag, 22. Januar 2016

God's Quiz 2

신의 퀴즈 2 (God's Quiz 2) is the second season of OCN Original series God's Quiz and aired from  June 10th to August 26th 2011.

Story: Han Jin-woo and the team of Hanguk University continue to solve cases involving rather rare diseases. But it turns out that some diseases should be hidden behind simply causes of death for some cases and the SCD, a national agency, tries to stop the team from investigating desperately.
I won't go into this topic too much because things would be boring if I would tell you everything about this but the background story kinda reminded me of The Virus - but there were differences as well. It gave me goosebumps and this season did well in keeping up the level of suspense.

Cast: As for the cast, there were indeed some changes but many actors who took important roles in the first season were in this one again so I don't want to comment on their acting over and over again - maybe I will do that later. I still enjoyed seeing Ryu Deok-hwan as Han Jin-woo. As a character, he became more complex in this season and I just wanted to find out why things turned out the way they are. Yoon Joo-hee as Kang Kyung-hee was awesome in this season as well, her character didn't really mature, that's not the right word, but her acting seems more confident than in the first season - and usually less cold. Another actor remaining in the cast is Choi Jung-woo as Jang Kyu-tae and I know why I'm talking about him as 'everyone's favorite ajusshi'. Though he loses the image of a caring father in this season, his acting was on spot and believable and I actually loved how he still tried to follow his principles after all. Park Joon-myun also appeared again as Jo Young-shil, and though she still doesn't belong to the main cast I did like her acting though it seemed too emotional sometimes. It's just that I know people can be like that from time to time and I suppose the writer wanted her character to act like that.
Way more important in this season than in the first became Na Yoon as Kim Sung-do who's trying his best to support Jin-woo no matter what happens. His acting was on spot, this is what one expects friends to be like to be honest and everyone should have at least one good friend like him.
Now this might be a spoiler but Ahn Yong-joon is back as Jung Ha-yoon as well! How is this possible after the first season? Well, you'll have to find out on your own but his acting turned out even better in this season. And I honestly think so because there are two sides of his character shown in here that couldn't be more different and making the audience believe in the different characteristics. Judging by his ability to manage that well I'm looking forward to seeing him in other series.
Someone I didn't mention in the cast for first season because he didn't appear to frequently is Choo Seung-wook as Detective Park Do-joon. Since he became more and more important in this season (I loved him in the last episode) I needed to mention him on here. Such a cool cop.
Talking about differences in the cast we actually notice.. we have a new character, Min Ji-yool, a profiler, played by Lee Seol-hee in this season and though one might hate her at first it turns out that  her support in fact isn't that bad. Acting or not, her cold character actually opened up and the audience suddenly starts to like her somehow.
And instead of Dr. Nam whom we've seen in the first season, this time Dr. Cha is responsible for most of the forensic work, played by Kim Se-hyun. It's hard to really judge his acting since most of the time it just feels like he's following orders - which might be true at the end of the day.

Soundtrack: Can we please talk about Hlin performing "Redd" for the OST of this season? Hlin are a band I mostly compare to Nell and when I heard the song I admit I thought about Nell at first when hearing the song but I love it. 10/10 just for this song. There's a song by Untouchable included in the OST as well called "Question" which I didn't really like at first but then I definitely grew attached to the song.

After all I found this season to be more emotional than the first one and therefore had to give it a better rating. Since this is nearly perfect, no one should be surprised about the overall 10/10. A great cast showing their abilities, well-written and sometimes really deep stories and at least the last three episodes were perfect and kept my heart beating faster and faster. All in all a great season and I'm curious as to what might follow in the next season(s).

Freitag, 15. Januar 2016

God's Quiz

신의 퀴즈 (God's Quiz) is a South Korean drama series that aired on OCN from October 8th to December 10th 2010. It was followed by so far three other seasons.

Story: Genius medical doctor Han Jin-woo starts working at Hanguk University in the department responsible for medical and forensic analysis. The department has its own unit for investigation of strange death cases. Working together with a team of experts as well as detective Kang Kyung-hee who is the connection to the police force he solves crimes. But Jin-woo has to deal with some strange pains and gets threatened by someone so he has to solve his own case as well but unintentionally causes some more problems that put the whole team into a dangerous situation.

Cast: Ryu Deok-hwan is a rather young male lead actor for OCN as Dr. Han Jin-woo. His acting was pretty well done in my opinion, it wasn't obviously faked - it seems as if he's really in pain. While he also manages to portray the innocent and somehow playful young man well. Yoon Joo-hee as Kang Kyung-hee turns out to be someone he enjoys playing around with though she always tells him to stop playing. Kyung-hee is a rather cold character at first and doesn't seem to be someone the viewer would like but just a few episodes later I found myself actually sympathizing with her. Even if I would like to, I can't say anything bad about Yoon Joo-hee's acting.
With Choi Jung-woo as Jang Kyu-tae there's an ajusshi in this drama everyone I've met so far seems to love, including me. He seems once again like a mentor and almost a caring father in this drama.
Park Joon-myun is in this series as well as Jo Young-shil, a character who seems to care a lot about manners and respect. Though her character isn't around that often one cannot help but like her during the last episodes, and I honestly think Park Joon-myun did a good job playing this role.
One of the rather funny characters in this series, Kim Sung-do, was played by Na Yoon. He seems to discuss complete nonsense with Han Jin-woo from time to time (thinking of Episode 6 *cough*) and is also somewhat known because of his love for adult movies (or could we say porn?) but somehow lightens up the atmosphere in the office.
Park Da-an as Go Yoon-jeong to me seemed to almost have a crush on Jin-woo. It might be only about me, her acting was well done, but I couldn't figure out whether she liked Jin-woo or not by now and I've finished this season. But then again there is a chance she might only be a caring person.
Ahn Yong-joon as Jung Ha-yoon seems to be the perfect psychopath villain in here and I think that psycho-gaze suits him incredibly well. Except for not quite understanding why exactly he turned out to be a 'monster' (said in the series, I know, but I'm not sure if I really understood because - Jin-woo developed into another direction. Circumstances? Parenting done right/wrong?) but it was actually believable and he gave me goosebumps..
Lastly I feel like I need to mention Kim Gun-woo as Nam Joo-nam. He doesn't have too much screentime which I find rather sad because I see some potential but as far as I could figure out he did well as the somewhat lovable assistant.

Soundtrack: I wish I could tell you more about the soundtrack but wasn't really able to find out that much about it until now myself. Maybe I will edit this section later on because I've finally found out something. I can only tell you that I liked the music overall, it was always well used in the situations and especially the instrumental/orchestra pieces once again caught my attention.

Overall God's Quiz seems to be a solid series and therefore deserves to be rated with a 9/10. Now to those of you who might have noticed that my love for OCN Original series is actually overflowing and almost all of them got higher ratings than this one I feel like I need to explain why.. I think it's just similar to The Virus. While I do enjoy watching this mix of medical and crime it doesn't really trigger any emotions unlike other series. It might be because of me not being into medical stuff this much or mainly because I prefer my crime series rather romance free but this is just an idea..
I can only compare my reactions but Special Affairs Team TEN, especially the second season, brought me close to some kind of mental breakdown. Other series like Missing Noir M basically cause a huge emptiness after finishing one episode and I usually need at least 30 minutes to calm down and realize what kind of emotional rollercoaster ride I just endured. Compared to especially those two series I found myself rather emotionless watching this. It made me laugh, it sometimes made me feel sorry for certain characters but not to the extent I've experienced before.
However, it is possible I will change my opinion watching the other seasons. Nothing is impossible and overall I really did like it.

Freitag, 8. Januar 2016

I Need Romance 3

로맨스가 필요해 3 (I Need Romance 3) is a South Korean drama series that aired on tvN from January 13th to March 4th 2014.

Story: Once again this drama revolves around a woman in her 30s and her relationships as well as her 'friends' - which are more colleagues in this case. Shin Joo-yeon works at a home shopping company. Because of some bad experiences she just accepts break-up's. She turned out cold and pretty calculating. When Allen Joo returns from the States after 17 years he can't believe that the cold woman is the same person as the girl he knew while growing up.
Lee Min-jeong, Joo-yeon's colleague, finds herself in a love affair and ends up as a pregnant single woman while Jeong Hee-jae and Lee Woo-young end up with some romantic issues as well. Since all of them are working together, the chaos is perfect when Oh Se-ryeong, a woman Joo-yeon was friends with earlier, appears. Se-ryeong was dating Kang Tae-yoon on whom Joo-yeon has a crush without noticing.

Cast: People asked me "Why do you watch it if you just found the first two seasons 'okay' or 'bearable'?" Well. Excuse you. There are four damn good reasons just in the cast. Firstly, Kim So-yeon as Shin Joo-yeon. That woman is my idol. I loved her more in IRIS and Two Weeks but she still did a good job in here, and just by looking at how different her roles in those series are I can assure you that she is indeed an amazing actress. But her chemistry with Nam Goong-min whom I really liked as well as Kang Tae-yoon could've been better. I don't think I could detect any chemistry between their characters at all. At least compared to the chemistry between Shin Joo-yeon and Allen Joo/ Joo Wan played by Sung Joon. While both of them are good at acting I couldn't really understand Allen's character that well though but then again I feel like that's me and there might have been a reason as to why he behaved that way after 17 years.
The character I hated the most in this drama turned out to be Oh Se-ryeong played by Wang Ji-won though. Geez, I wanted to beat her up. Badly. So annoying but I found myself actually liking her during the last episodes. Now I wonder what made her character change that much. Maybe I missed out on something. Maybe she changed because of hoping to get Tae-yoon back. Or maybe the writer just thought it would be a good idea. I really don't know about that.
Actually one of the reasons to watch this drama is Park Yoo-hwan as Lee Woo-young as well. I definitely hope people will stop referring to him as "Yoochun's brother" once and try to see him as an actor. He did well in this drama, especially with Yoon Seung-ah as Jeong Hee-jae. That clumsy but somewhat shy and loveable couple made this drama totally cute from time to time - and funny. Just let me mention the word "group chat" and you will understand after watching this.
Lastly we have Park Hyo-joo as Lee Min-jeong, a woman who has no intention to get married or think about having a family - until she finds out she's pregnant. And Ahn Min-seok played by Yoo Ha-jun is trying hard to become a good father even before the baby's born. He definitely deserved more time, both together with Park Hyo-joo or alone just because his acting and his character were really cute and seemed a little innocent and clueless.

Soundtrack: Thinking about it carefully, I did like one song. Well, two if we count "Now and Forever", the Allen Joo produced (at least they said so) which was originally performed by Jo Jung-hee. Sung Joon's "사랑이 웃는 것 (Love is Smiling)" made this soundtrack good to me. Now there's nothing wrong with all the other good singers included on the OST just like G.O or Lee Hyori but I sometimes just found myself thinking "Wow, that song's pretty boring..". As a huge fan of music that was and still is a deal breaker for me.

After all this drama got a rating of 8/10 from me. Except for the fact that I didn't like the music I just felt like there's nothing really memorable about the story. It didn't make me laugh too hard nor did I feel really depressed. It's enjoyable but nothing special
But I think it's not the I Need Romance we've seen in the first two seasons. Starting with the first episode, this series has a completely different feeling to it. It focusses more on the male lead than the first two series. In this one, the women aren't friends who've met each other back in school and started to work in different feels, the basically know each other because of working together. And while this is actually a charming point it just doesn't belong to the I Need Romance-series fans might expect.  
So if you want to watch this because you loved the first two seasons - be warned.

Freitag, 1. Januar 2016

Best K-Drama OST 2015

Happy New Year 2016, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Now that the new year has arrived it is time for me to show you my personal favorite OSTs of 2015 I guess so without further delay - here they are! Just let me say that this is based on my opinion only and that I personally found some OSTs in general to be great while others were just meh.

25. Tae.1/Taewon - Lonely Day
Korean: 태원 - 론리 데이
Drama: Last

24. Zico - Sick (feat. Sojin of Girl's Day)
Korean: 지코 - 아프다 (feat. 소진 of 걸스데이)
Drama: Mask

23. Heo Solji (EXID) - Love Sweet
Korean: 허솔지 - 러브쉿 
Drama: Producer

22. Yoo Sung Eun - Oh You Yeah You
Korean: 유성은 - 오유야유 
Drama: Second Time Twenty Years Old 

21. Michael Learns to Rock - Eternal Love
Korean: -
Drama: Healer

20. Seo Hyunjin - Up & Down
Korean: 서현진 - Up & Down
Drama: Let's Eat 2

19. Ha Hyunwoo (Guckkasten) - I Can't Stop Loving You
Korean: 하현우 - I Can't Stop Loving You
Drama: Blood

18. Shannon - I Remember You, I Love You
Korean: 샤넌 - 기억해 사랑해
Drama: Shine or Go Crazy

17. Da Hong, Jin Min Ho - Ae Mae Hae
Korean: 다홍, 진민호 - 애매해
Drama: My Unfortunate Boyfriend

16. New Champ, Gemini - Making Love
Korean: 뉴챔프, 제미니 - Making Love
Drama: Divorce Lawyer in Love

15. JACE - Goodbye
Korean: 제이스 - Goodbye
Drama: Spy

14. Lim Kim - Who Are You
Korean: 김예림 - 너, 누구니
Drama: I Remember You

13. Buzz - Hero
Korean: 버즈 - Hero
Drama: Spy

12. Park Seo Joon - Long Way
Korean: 박서준 - 먼 길
Drama: She Was Pretty

11. Song Haye - be alright
Korean: 송하예 - be alright
Drama: Blood

10. DinDin - Memories (feat. An Hyeon Jeong)
Korean: 딘딘 - Memories (feat. 안현정)
Drama: Ghost-seeing Detective Cheo Yong 2

09. Byul Ha (HeartB) - There's No Love
Korean: 별하 (허트비) - 사랑은 없다
Drama: Mask

08. Cheol Gu - New World (feat. Hyerim)
Korean: 철구 - 신세계 (feat. 혜림)
Drama: Hidden Identity

07. Lee Yoon Chan - Crying Out
Korean: 이윤찬 - 외친다
Drama: Falling For Innocence
(Note: In hangul the video description says Lee Yoon Chan, in romanization Lee Seung Chul - don't ask me why please... I don't know)

06. Ji Chang Wook - I'll Protect You
Korean: 지창욱 - 지켜줄게
Drama: Healer

05. JungGiGo - Similar (feat. Jooheon of Monsta X)
Korean: 정기고 -닮은 꼴 (feat. 주헌 of 몬스타 엑스)
Drama: Mask

04. Yong Junhyung - Nightmare (feat. Heo Gayoon)
Korean: 용준형 - 악몽 (feat. 허가윤)
Drama: Yong Pal

03. Tiger JK - Reset (feat. Jinsil of Mad Soul Child)
Korean: 타이거 JK - Reset (feat. 진실 of 매드 솔 차일드)
Drama: Who Are You - School 2015

02. Kim Feel - Far Away
Korean: 김필 - 멀어진다
Drama: Punch

01. Kim Yoon Ah (Jaurim) - Lucid Dream (feat. OLLTII)
Korean: 김윤아 (자우림) - 자각몽 (feat. 올티)
Drama: Missing Noir M 

Sooooooo... everyone who checked out my personal favorites, I hope you like all of them! I think I also need to mention that I stopped in early December to add dramas to the "list of nominees".
I bet no one is surprised that Lucid Dream turned out to be my favorite song but I hope you enjoyed it anyways!

You can of course contact me on twitter (new @jk1129) to discuss my choices with me~ I hope you'll all spend a nice 2016!