Category: Korean Drama

DryedMangoez recaps, reviews and commentary of Korean drama series.

Good Ol’ Review: Strong Cast Can’t Save SBS’ Half-Baked, Contrived “Why Her?”

If ever there was a series whose title is ripe for a pun-infused critique of it, it is SBS’ Why Her? (왜 오수재인가 /Why Oh Soo Jae?). Because as you’re watching and definitely after you’ve finished the 16 episodes of the drama, you’ll be asking yourself “Why?” Or maybe the more appropriate question is “How?” How could a series with such a strong cast and a seemingly strong start end up half-baked, undercooked and thoroughly contrived.

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Good Ol’ Review: Netflix’s “Narco-Saints” a Thrilling and Satisfying Ride

Netflix manages to balance and temper those worries in their latest Korean original Narco-Saints (수리남/Suriname). The six-episode series plays more like a six-hour film. And because of that, unlike many of Netflix’s originals, it ends up being a wholly satisfying experience. Powered by a stellar, big-name cast and its lush location, Narco-Saints is a well-paced thriller that effectively builds up to a truly exhilarating climax.

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Good Ol’ Review: Excellent Cast Powers Poetic and Relatable “Going to You at a Speed of 493km”

KBS’ Going to You at a Speed of 493km (너에게 가는 속도 493km) is a charming and relatable slice of life story about growing up and overcoming the everyday struggles and hardships of life. I will refer to the series using its original Korean title as I feel that it better captures the series’ wonderfully poetic storytelling and direction than the more generic English title of Love All Play. The series is a balanced blend of lighthearted romantic drama and coming of age angst. The characters’ personal stories and relationships provide the backbone for the series’ 16 episodes. And the talented young and veteran cast do an excellent job bringing them to life.

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First Impression Review: Netflix’s “Money Heist: Korea” a Fun, Character-Driven Thrill Ride
Good Ol’ Review: Excellent Cast and Brave Storytelling Power Thought-Provoking and Captivating “Tomorrow”

MBC’s Tomorrow (내일) is one of the most complete and well-put together dramas of the year so far. That’s in addition to being perhaps the most envelope-pushing, timely and profound series as well. Tomorrow‘s excellent cast, led by the always captivating Kim Hee Sun, bravely shines the spotlight on topics and stories that rarely get touched upon in mainstream Korean entertainment. Even when tackling such difficult topics is more important now than ever. Tomorrow‘s ultimate success is being able to carefully and respectfully tell these stories while effectively building a colorful world of characters who each have their own worthy stories as well.

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Good Ol’ Review: “Pachinko” is Simply a Stunning Epic

Pachinko (파친코/パチンコ) is a breathtaking television event. The eight-episode (first!) season of this Apple TV+ series is truly a stunning experience. It is the kind of grand epic production and storytelling that you rarely, if ever see on Korean television or even from any of the recent streaming exclusive local series. It is certainly a coup for Apple TV+ to have secured the rights to this Kogonada and Justin Chon-directed series as its first foray into Korean drama. And the adaptation of the epic novel from journalist/author Min Jin Lee is the perfect source material for such a production.

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Good Ol’ Review: KBS’ “Naked Fireman” an Unexpectedly Intriguing and Fun Mystery
Good Ol’ Review: Strong Ensemble Leads Engaging “Forecasting Love and Weather”

Life can be just as unpredictable as the weather. And no matter how much you try to predict and prepare for either, you’ll never be 100% accurate or perfect. This is the idea at the center of JTBC’s engaging, character-driven drama series Forecasting Love and Weather (기상청 사람들: 사내연애 잔혹사 편/Meteorological Administration People: Office Romance Cruelty ). Park Min Young and Song Kang lead a strong ensemble cast through the always unpredictable road of life all while dealing with the rigors and responsibility of their work at Korea’s national weather service.

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Good Ol’ Review: Ahn Bo Hyun and Jo Bo Ah Lead Engaging and Timely “Military Prosecutor Doberman”

Ahn Bo Hyun and Jo Bo Ah deliver enthralling performances in tvN’s engaging, fun and timely drama series Military Prosecutor Doberman (군검사 도베르만). Mixing the always ripe for excitement revenge drama with an unflinching look at the realities of today’s society and particularly the inner-workings of Korea’s military and justice system, Military Prosecutor Doberman is never short of material. And it is material that the series delivers with a confidence and sincerity that really connects with the viewer through its 16 episodes.

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Good Ol’ Review: Netflix’s “The Sound of Magic” Has Whimsical Depth

Netflix’s latest original Korean drama The Sound of Magic (안나라수마나라 / Annarasumanara) is quite the unexpected adventure. On the surface it is a whimsical musical fantasy. But it is when it manages to dive deeper into the characters and speak of the world at large that it is at its most captivating. With a talented cast led by Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun and Hwang In Yeop, The Sound of Magic is indeed a magical, emotional and meaningful series.

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