Category: International TV

DryedMangoez recaps, reviews and commentary about international (non-American) television programs.

Good Ol’ Review: KBS’ Character-Driven Slice of Life “School 2021” a Refreshing Entry to Venerable Series

KBS’ venerable School franchise has not only catapulted young up-and-coming actors toward stardom, it has also presented an honest and (sometimes unfortunately) realistic look at education in Korea. And this is all while allowing for an endearing and relatable character-driven experience. The latest entry in the franchise, School 2021 (학교 2021) certainly continues following in those footsteps. And in a well-written, well-acted and thoroughly engaging package.

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First Impression Review: How “Mano Po Legacy – The Family Fortune” Got Me Excited About Filipino TV for the First Time in a While

It’s been a while since I’ve regularly followed a Filipino teleserye. Biggest reason for that is we unsubscribed to GMA Pinoy TV back in the early days of COVID. $14.99 is $14.99, after all, and there wasn’t exactly new programming airing on Philippine TV at the time to warrant the extra expense. There is also an alternative to subscribing, but we weren’t about to watch low quality pirated episodes on sketchy blogs. Watching short, bitin clips on YouTube is never appealing either.

But one new Filipino series has caught my attention. And that is the GMA Network-Regal Entertainment co-production Mano Po Legacy – The Family Fortune.

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Good Ol’ Review: Yoo Jae Myung and Ji Soo Deliver Captivating Performances in JTBC’s Affecting “Ping Pong Ball”

Yoo Jae Myung and Ji Soo deliver captivating performances in the warmhearted, though pensive Ping Pong Ball (탁구공). A part of JTBC’s Drama Festa anthology banner, this 2018 two-episode special drama might as well be a full-length feature film based on its production and presentation. A wonderful screenplay about the friendship formed between two seemingly different people is brought to life by two excellent performances and its cinematic treatment. All for what is ultimately a moving and fascinating slice of life portrait.

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Hindsight Review: Netflix’s “Single’s Inferno” Finds Perfect Blend of Korean Drama and Reality Dating Show for an Unexpectedly Compelling and Enjoyable Time
First Impression Review: I Don’t Watch Reality Dating Shows, Yet I Have Somehow Fallen in Love with Netflix’s “Single’s Inferno”
Top 20 Favorite Pre-2021 Korean Dramas I Watched This Year!
My Top 20 Favorite Korean Dramas of 2021!
Good Ol’ Review: Netflix’s “The Silent Sea” Has Rough Landing, but Ultimately Reaches Its Refreshing and Suspenseful Destination

Netflix continues to churn out solid and unique Korean drama offerings. And the latest is The Silent Sea (고요의 바다), a sci-fi mystery thriller starring Bae Doona and Gong Yoo. The premise of the eight-episode series is intriguing: an elite team is sent to retrieve a mysterious sample from the moon in the hopes of finding a solution to the severe drought and desertification of the world. Though the series itself isn’t totally out of this world (so to speak), it is nonetheless a refreshing and ultimately enjoyable experience that offers something different from the norm. Even if the series leaves a lot of potential on the table.

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Good Ol’ Review: “One Ordinary Day” an Emotionally Thrilling Character Portrait

Kim Soo Hyun, Cha Seung Won and Kim Sung Kyu deliver captivating performances in the Coupang Play original series One Ordinary Day (어느날). Adapted from the BBC drama Criminal Justice, the series follows a young college student accused of murder and the scruffy lawyer who decides to defend him. A gripping portrait of a young man struggling to prove his innocence, One Ordinary Day is an edgy and sadly realistic look at the harsh realities of the justice system with a character-driven narrative that keeps you guessing until the very last moment.

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Good Ol’ Review: tvN’s “Happiness” a Creative Character-Driven Thriller

tvN’s apocalyptic thriller Happiness (해피니스) is terrifying simply because it hits so close to home in 2021. Set in the very near future where infectious diseases have become the norm, Happiness grabs hold of some familiar narrative themes and blends them together with frighteningly relatable real world situations. As much a character piece as it is a horror-tinged thriller, Happiness makes use of a strong cast, creative direction and the stoking of real world tension for what may be the last great series of the year.

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