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heartlesscity1

To Watch: Heartless City Dramafever

Cast:
Jung Kyung Ho as Jung Shi Hyun
Nam Gyu Ri as Yoon Soo Min
Lee Jae Yoon as Ji Hyung Min
Son Chang Min as Min Hong Ki
Kim Yoo Mi as Lee Jin Sook

Choi Moo Sung as Moon Duk Bae
Yoon Hyun Min as Kim Hyun Soo
Go Na Eun as Lee Kyung Mi
Kim Hyo Sun as Eun Soo
Jung Soo Young as Oh Jung Yun
Jung Ji Soon as Director Jo
Kim Byung Ok as Jeo Wool / Scale
Jung Moon Sung as Ki Chul

Genre:
Romance, Crime, Thriller

Plot:
Jung Shi Hyun meets Lee Kyung Mi for the first time at a church orphanage and they grow up to be close to each other. Shi Hyun is the son of a brothel girl and never knew his father. Lee Kyung Mi becomes a cop because of Shi Hyun, in order to make the world a better place, a place where innocents like Shi Hyun’s mother would not have died of drug overdosing. Who would have known that the key drug distributor in the city was none other than Shi Hyun, nicknamed “Doctor’s Son.” As a ploy to root out “Doctor’s Son” and other members of the gang responsible for putting the drugs onto the street, Lee Kyung Mi is shot and killed while undercover, and all the evidence point toward “Doctor’s Son.”

Lee Kyung Mi’s fiance and team leader, Ji Hyung Min vows to find Kyung Mi’s killer no matter what. Lee Kyung Mi’s younger sister from the orphanage, Yoon Soo Min, is also sent undercover into the criminal world in order to find “Doctor’s Son” and those responsible for killing Kyung Mi. She could never have imagined that she would fall in love with Shi Hyun.

Review:
I can’t even begin to express how utterly beautiful this drama is. Once again these network dramas amaze me with their quality and cast. The first thing about this drama that I can think about that really hit me was the cinematography and feeling. The music set the mood perfectly and a lot of the OST songs were awesome! The pacing was perfect for this type of criminal thriller and the acting was solid all around. All of the recurring cast members played their parts well. Special shout outs go to Choi Moo Sung as Moon Duk Bae, Jung Ji Soon as Director Jo, and Kim Byung Ok as Scale. They really got into their roles and became distinctive key players in bringing the drama to life. I’ve never been a big fan of Nam Gyu Ri’s acting but she held her own as her acting style just really fit into this character. Just the overall intensity of the acting in this drama really sunk this for the home run.

The plot of the drama itself sometimes seemed repetitive and non-nonsensical, but hey, it’s a crime thriller, the main characters are allowed to almost die more than three times. Sometimes the time in this drama seemed to pass quickly and sometimes it just felt like one night was as long as two days. I feel a bit bad about Nam Gyu Ri’s character as she got written in as a girl who can’t even really defend herself while Kyung Mi obviously had more fighting skill. It would have been way more interesting had Yoon Soo Min kicked just a little more ass! I liked the story progression for the most part and it kept me on my toes guessing who was related to who. The ending was what threw me off a little bit and I think the writers definitely went a little bit over board on revealing the villains (I won’t spoil anything now.)

I highly recommend this drama if you are into the whole gangster genre and love watching ladies in very very stylish clothing. I managed to watch the drama all the way through without skipping and ended up enjoying it immensely.

heartlesscity2

Rating:
4.8/5.0

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jmg3

Cast:
Jung Ryu Won as Princess Ja-Myung/ Pu Ku
Park Min Young as Princess Nak-Rang/Ra Hee
Jung Kyung Ho as Prince Ho-Dong
Moon Sung Geun as King Daemusin
Kim Sung Ryung as Mo Ha So
Hong Yo Seob as Chae Ri
Lee Mi Sook as Lady Hae/Wang JaShi
Lee Joo Hyun as Wang Hol
Yeo Wook Hwan as Il Poom/Heng Kai
Park Hyo Joo as Chi So

Genre:
Historical, Period

jm2

Plot:
In ancient times, the Kingdom of Goguryeo always had its eye on the fruitful and rich land of the neighboring Kingdom of Nang Nang. General Chae Ri, along with the help of his brother, freed Nang Nang from the rule of invaders and became the King of Nang Nang. He had two daughters, Ja Myung and Ra Hee. With cunning, the Second Queen saved her baby and condemned the First Queens daughter Ja Myung to death.

Little do they know that Ja Myung did not die, but grew up with a couple who ran their own performing group. Ra Hee grows up to be a beautiful and wise Princess, and Ja Myung grows up under the guidance of a banished enemy General. Ja Myung always wonders about her birth parents, and so she grows up with the hope of finding out the real reason she was abandoned.

What happens when both Ja Myung and Ra Hee fall in love with the Goguryeo Prince Hodong? What evil lurks behind the court politics of both Goguryeo and Nang Nang? Which sister will be the one to cause Nang Nang’s downfall? Will the relationship between Ja Myung and Ra Hee ever be revealed?

Review (Mild Spoilers):
I think there are a lot of things that need to be said about this drama, firstly because the ratings were so low, and secondly, I really can see why, but that is not saying that I hated the drama. Actually, the opposite is true.

I really loved the chemistry between the characters and also the overall acting. There were a good spread of comical moments along with serious moments, and none of the characters were excessively annoying or out of line. There were also many moments which were very touching and made me tear up.

Let’s start with Hodong. He is a new face to me and I have never seen him in any drama or movie before. I think that the major flaw with his acting was that it was really hard to read his true emotions throughout the drama. He had moments with Ra Hee and Ja Myung but I could never really tell whether he was serious or bluffing in every scene. Realistically all the scenes he had with Ra Hee were supposed to be fake but sometimes I felt that it wasn’t very obvious unless some extra scenes were added. The romantic scenes keep flip flopping between the sisters that I get lost in his acting and I can’t really read him anymore. Most of the time I feel that it just leaves the viewer assuming that he’s faking it or being true. The rest of his acting was fine. His integral part in court politics and his struggles with the King and Queen are both quite convincing.

The King of Goguryeo seemed a bit too harshly portrayed. I feel that Goguryeo was really shown to us as the brutal and cruel enemy. Although sometimes we see the emotional side of King Daemusin, it is often lost between episodes and we don’t really feel that it is a part of his character. For the most part he is cold and hard and also cruel to both the Queen and Hodong. I never really got the feel for this part and through most of the drama with him just seemed to float around with no depth. He is always broody and unfeeling.

The Queens of Nang Nang did not have too much depth at all, but we do see change in the First Queen. A lot of times I cringed when she really ignored Ra Hee’s feelings. I cannot even begin to imagine how a mother can disregard a child she has raised for many many years for someone she has just met. True, a mother has the right to feel a connection with her birth daughter, but I would really have expected the First Queen to feel for Ra Hee more. We do see this at the very end, but the process that takes us there is sometimes very frustrating. The Second Queen was just pretty static through the first 35 or so episodes. Only in the last few episodes do we see that she is still faithful to Nang Nang.

For some reason I feel that Wang Hol was probably one of the characters with the most dynamic change. We see his growth as a character and also he reveals his love in his own unique way. Sometimes he acts cruel and sometimes very understanding, and that makes him a very human-like character. As for the other generals they all made very good background characters.

Ja Myung. Jung Ryu Won. I looked on wiki and saw that she did a drama in My Lovely Sam Soon and also Which Star Did You Come From but I have never seen them. At first I was a bit reluctant to watch this drama, as some of the action scenes were pretty weird and also the beggning of the drama basically gave the whole story away. I stuck on and just promised myself that I would stop watching if the adult cast was terrible. It turned out that I really enjoyed the first few episodes. When the adult episode came, I really became interested in Ja Myung and Hodong’s chemistry and also how their story would progress. Although I can’t make an unbiased opinion concerning her performance, I just want to say that I really loved her acting. She can portray sadness without bawling her eyes out and she also maintains a very consistent personality throughout. No weird sudden changes. I just wished they would make more scenes with her in it and kicking ass with her martial arts skills.

The music was a great plus to this drama. The production quality was decent at first, but as the drama neared its ending it seemed to become less and less authentic. The costumes and other filming nick knacks seemed to be alright, but sometimes it just didn’t feel right. It is a lot like the feeling I got from watching Hong Gil Dong. Sometimes it just lacks that solid Period drama feel compared to say something like Conspiracy in the Court.

The overall pace of the drama was a extremely rushed starting about half way through. I do understand that they cut out about 11 episodes, but they really made the ending too rushed. It is pretty weird to see characters you’ve followed for 38 episodes all meet their end in less than 5 minutes. Many times I felt like skipping some of the political discussion scenes

All in all, I enjoyed this drama. Although the production quality or maybe even the plot line did not completely suit my expectations, I really think it was a great drama for the most part. The fact that I finished this drama is part of the proof.

Rating:
4.3/5.0

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