Freitag, 28. April 2017


프로듀사 (Producer) is a South Korean drama series that aired on KBS2 from May 15th to June 20th 2015 and consists of 12 episodes with an average duration of 80 minutes.

Story: Baek Seung-chan joins a KBS Entertainment World team as the new PD rookie. In the first place he decided to become a PD because of his first love. Right on the first day he gets into an accident with one of his senior PDs, Tak Ye-jin. Tak Ye-jin currently lives with her childhood friend who happens to be another PD, Ra Joon-mo, for KBS Entertainment World and above all Seung-chan's direct boss.
While helping out in one of the shows Seung-chan meets the famous singer Cindy who causes some trouble for Ye-jin. As the chaos evolves around the relationships between the four characters they try to overcome hardships in the entertainment business as well.

Cast: I think the cast is honestly what made this drama as well known as it is. At first we have Kim Soo-hyun as Baek Seung-chan. As the main character of this story the viewer becomes most familiar with him and the stubborn, puppy-like behavior makes him a total sweetheart. But I have to admit that this role didn't suit Kim Soo-hyun perfectly. His acting was good but I feel like sometimes the very goofy, innocent acting just didn't feel right.
Gong Hyo-jin as Tak Ye-jin is a good actress and in this drama she showed some huge differences between the professional and the real person Ye-jin. It was good to see Gong Hyo-jin in this role as her performance was really nice.
Cha Tae-hyun as Ra Joon-mo has the loser role in this drama, if there is one character I would have to name as that character that is. When it comes to his career, if I remember right, every show he touches ends up being ruined and he is trying to safe his current variety show "2 Days & 1 Night". That's when Seung-chan joins and Joon-mo's team is definitely not happy about it at first.
And who could take the role of a famous singer better than a famous singer? So IU is in this drama as Cindy. The change within her character is the most fascinating thing about her. The acting was maybe a little bit too sweet partly but then again idols have to be like that.
The cast also includes Lim Ye-jin, Kim Hee-chan, Kim Hye-ok, Park Hyuk-kwon, Kim Jong-kook, Na Young-hee, Jo Han-chul and Choi Kwon.

Soundtrack: The OST in fact includes a lot of very good singers and some indie bands. My favorite song has to be from a singer called Ben "두근두근 (Palpitations)" followed by "러브스윗 (Love Suite)" which was performed by EXID's Solji.

My personal rating for this drama is a 7/10 not because it is bad but it failed to deliver something special in the world of romantic comedies. As rom-com is the dominating genre in K-Drama land it is hard to deliver something innovative and new, that is for sure, and the only new aspect this drama added to complicated relationships was the entertainment industry. But in that way it actually gives you a nice impression how things might actually be working as a writer or program director and how hard the competition is. So as it was in that aspect a really good drama I was willing to give some bonus points even though it didn't impress me much. Recommendation? If you want to watch it, go ahead, it's not that long after all and I've seen worse than this drama.

Freitag, 21. April 2017


MONSTERS is a Japanese crime series that aired on TBS from October 21st to December 9th 2012. The series consists of 8 episodes with an average duration of 45 minutes.

Story: Kosuke Saionji is designated to the best investigation team and is close to fulfilling his dream but he ends up assigned to Heihachi Hiratsuka, a top class detective who was working alone, he needs to take care of because of Hiratsuka's loud and impolite personality and his possible secrets in solving crimes. Every episode follows another crime and the investigation led by Hiratsuka.

Cast: The very first thing I need to say about this series is that it seems to be satirical. Everything is just a little overdone from acting to the way the cases are shown. In its own genre mixing up comedy and crime it is not bad but if it was a real crime drama it would lack some seriousness. This shows extremely well in the eccentric character of Heihachi Hiratsuka played by Shingo Katori. His acting in the eccentric way is good as well as some of the serious parts are great, too. As an actor I don't remember being familiar with Katori but I enjoyed his acting in this drama.
Tomohisa Yamashita as Kosuke Saionji is the helpless subordinate type of character and I honestly don't think this drama shows the strong side of his acting but it is a different side of what I've seen in most dramas he was starring in (that I watched so far of course).
Other characters were rarely in the focus as this drama just evolves around these two but other actors in this drama include Kenichi Endo, Tomoya Warabino, Daisuke Kikuta, Tatsuya Hino, Tomoya Shiroishi, Yasukage Hinaka and Makoto Otake.
Soundtrack: I totally loved the soundtrack and the music played in the episodes. I can't really explain why but I think it did highlight the atmosphere very well.

In total I rated this drama as 8/10 as it is not a full crime drama but includes comedy so the eccentric and over-the-top parts were intended to be that way. The crimes in each episode were interesting but sometimes it was a little obvious what might have happened. I would recommend this if you like the type of satirical crime dramas but if you only watch this for Tomohisa Yamashita you might be disappointed as this is not his best drama.

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Tiger & Dragon

タイガー&ドラゴン (Tiger & Dragon) is a Japanese drama series that aired on TBS from April 15th to June 24th 2005 and consists of 11 episodes. It also has a special episode that was aired on January 9th 2005.

Story: The story evolves around two different worlds, yakuza and rakugo, that become combined and entangled through family and friendship in this drama. Toraji Yamazaki is a yakuza and belongs to the Ryuseikai Shinjuku but dreams of becoming a rakugo story teller while Ryuji Yanaka is the son of a rakugo master and a fashion designer with a quite unique taste in fashion who quit rakugo a long time ago even though he has talent. As they both face difficulties and meet various people their bond of 'Tiger and Dragon' keeps intact most of the time.

Cast: In the very first place the acting in this drama was not supposed to be taken serious since it is a comedy so I can't say much about how well/realistic the actors can do their job. Tomoya Nagase as Tora was a character in this drama that I personally wanted to fulfill his dream. The acting made him literally seem like a tiger occasionally but that was one of the main points of the drama.
Junichi Okada as Ryuji was somehow a pitiful character I seriously couldn't get myself to like. The character was written a little bit too.. much from time to time. I remember scenes in which it just had me shaking my head.
Misaki Ito as Megumi certainly did have her part in this but her character was also some cliché kind of female. Pretty but not the smartest. I think she acted well in her part.
Toshiyuki Nishida as Shokichi Yanaka or Hayashiyatei Donbei (note that I left this order because turning the last name and given name around would sound weird in the case of such a long last name I think) was a fatherly figure that also did kinda well in his role. Takashi Tsukamoto as Ginjiro Nakatani is the clueless son of the leader of the Ryuseikai Shinjuku. As a character he was very likeable in his clumsy way at first and improved a lot, the acting also showed his change in character well in the end.
Other actors in this drama include Yu Aoi as Risa, Tsubaki Nekoze as Tsuruko Yanaka, Sadao Abe as Ryuhei Yanaka/Donta, Yosuke Asari as Susumu Murata/Udon, Gen Hoshino as Dontsuku and Yoshiyoshi Arakawa as Jumptei Jump.

Soundtrack: The opening song "Tiger & Dragon" was recorded by Crazy Ken Band. While I personally still don't really like the song I think the vocalist has a kind of voice that suits the song well.
The ending was "UTAO-UTAO" by V6. Personally I do like this song a lot more than the opening and I would occasionally listen to it just for fun, too, I think.

This drama gave me a hard time thinking about the rating. While I did like it somehow and didn't have a hard time finishing it - it failed as a comedy for me. Hence I rated it as 6/10 because it honestly didn't even make me laugh once. It wasn't bad though and as a kind of satirical drama about family, yakuza and friendship it would most likely get a better rating. However, if you want to watch it don't hesitate to do so. I think even though this drama might not be a comedy everyone likes there are aspects others might find interesting except for the jokes.

Freitag, 7. April 2017

Confession of Murder

내가 살인범이다 (I'm a Murderer; Confession of Murder) is a South Korean movie directed by Jung Byoung-gil released in 2012.

Story: Lieutenant Choi Hyung-go is chasing the serial killer who killed 10 women one rainy night. During the chase he gets a scar after fighting with the murderer.
Later, Jung Hyun-sik, the son of the first victim, who became close to Hyung-go after the cases commits suicide.
In 2007, two years after the statute of limitations that originally was 15 years ended, Lee Duk-soo publishes a book with the title "Confession of Murder". He describes the murders and states that he needs to talk about it because of the guilt. The book turns him into a bestselling author but also gets him kidnapped by the family members of the victims, among them Han Ji-soo who still tries to find her daughters' remains.
During a live debate broadcast with Lee Duk-soo and Choi Hyung-go another man who only refers to himself as "J" calls and asks questions to which only the real murderer can know the answers. Now everyone is carefully trying to find out who is the murderer and what will happen.

Cast: Jung Jae-young as Choi Hyung-go. He was brilliant in the role, I totally believed every little bit of this even though I only fully understood it in the end. While he can portray the rough cop and the poker face I honestly did like the emotional side as to why he can't let it go, too.
Park Si-hoo as Lee Doo-suk is a perfect flower boy in his role. I think that the part of the "nice killer" fits him in this drama and that he also portrays it in a believable manner while sometimes the way he uses to ask for forgiveness seems a little bit ironic and not serious. I'm talking about a specific scene with the doctor, if you watch the movie you might understand where I'm coming from.
Jung Hae-kyun as J. He was barely seen without a mask for the most part of the movie so judging facial expressions is more or less impossible. However, the way he talked he didn't seem to be a normal criminal but totally insane. I don't know if that was how the character was written or if it was his acting but yeah..
Kim Young-ae as Han Ji-soo was awesome especially in the end but also in the flashbacks. A mother in grief trying to find her daughter so she can let go peacefully. All the sides of her character seemed more or less realistic.
Other actors in this drama include Jang Gwang as the director of the broadcasting station, Jo Eun-ji as Choi Kang-sook, Choi Won-young as Jung Tae-suk, Kim Jung-goo as the snake hunter and Min Ji-ah as Jung Soo-yeon.

So I personally think this movie is interesting but not one of the most mind-blowing I have seen in my life which is why I rated it with 8.5/10. The main reason is that some of the chases just seemed kinda overdone and totally unrealistic (you will get me, I just mention the ambulance so you know which chase I mean).
What I can say for sure is that in this movie nothing is what it seems to be. It surprised me quite a lot how the mystery was solved but you will have to watch it yourself to find out. I recommend this movie to lovers of crime and suspense stories with a lot of action.