TV shows I completed or caught up on in 2019

Last year, I didn’t manage to watch as much TV as I would’ve wanted to. Especially towards the latter half of the year. I just didn’t have the time or energy to commit to a series. Looking back at my TV tracker however, I noticed that I managed to complete or catch up on more series than I thought I had. Here’s what I watched, and what I thought of it.

I started off 2019 by binge-watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. This might be the most adorable reality show I have ever seen. Mario Kondo seems like the kindest and most understanding person. If everyone in the world was a bit more like her, we would live in a better place.

🌟 I would give Tidying Up With Marie Kondo 4/5 stars

I then continued to binge-watch What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, which managed to climb up my list of favorite K-dramas I’ve seen so far. It’s about a boss who depends on his secretary for literally everything, until she tells him she is resigning. It was fun, sweet and adorable.

🌟 I would give What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim 4.5/5 stars

After that, I finally watched the last few episodes of Because This Is My First Life. While this drama wasn’t bad at all, and I rather enjoyed the performance of Jung So-min, this show failed to capture my attention. I liked it while watching but never felt like it was one I needed to return to.

🌟 I would give Because This Is My First Life 3/5 stars

Continuing the trend of binge-watching K-dramas, I went on to watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo which I really enjoyed. It’s a show centered around sports which is usually a true hit or miss for me. What I loved most about this show is that the female main character is a competitive weightlifter and the guy is a swimmer. A female weightlifter? YES PLEASE.

🌟 I would give Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo 4.5/5 stars

After finishing that one, I decided it was time to tackle one of the most beloved K-dramas of all time: Coffee Prince. This is about a girl who starts to work in a coffee shop, and falls in love with her boss. The only downside is that everyone thinks she’s a boy. What I loved most about this show is that it shows the guy recognizing his feelings for her and wanting a relationship, even though he thinks she’s a guy and always considered himself straight.

🌟 I would give Coffee Prince 4/5 stars

After all the Korean shows, I decided to go back home and watch a Belgian show. I watched the entire first season of De Luizenmoeder in one go, which is a comedic show centered around the life of parents and teachers in an elementary school. It’s absolutely hilarious, and so relatable!

🌟 I would give De Luizenmoeder 4.5/5 stars

Back to Korea we go, because I watched the Netflix show Romance Is a Bonus Book afterwards. This is a show I actually had to wait for, as Netflix released 2 episodes per week and I was hooked a few episodes in. I hadn’t watched a show weekly in months (years, even?) but I couldn’t help myself. Every episode just had to be watched immediately. This is a show about a woman who tries to join the workforce again after being a stay-at-home mom for years, now being divorced. It’s set in a publishing house, has a friends-to-lovers relationship and has healthy communication and little to no relationship drama. It’s perfect.

🌟 I would give Romance is a Bonus Book 5/5 stars

The previous show made me an enormous fan of Lee Jong-suk, so I immediately started watching one of his “older” shows, called WW – Two Worlds Apart is an action-packed show in which the main character’s father creates graphic novels. The world inside the graphic novels come to life, however, and whatever he writes happens. The main character falls into the story and saves the male character, which sets off a chain of reactions.

🌟 I would give W 4/5 stars

After Korea, I hopped over to China by watching Put Your Head On My Shoulder. This is definitely one of the most adorable romance shows I have ever watched. It’s about a girl who studies accounting in university but actually wants to work within marketing and advertising, and a physics student at the same university. They end up sharing an apartment so the girl can easily go to her part-time job, and fall in love. The soft boy easily wins over the “best friend” who took her for granted for years and I am LIVING for it.

🌟 I would give Put Your Head On My Shoulder 5/5 stars

Obviously, I couldn’t go through 2019 without watching the latest season of Stranger Things as soon as it was released. My love for this show is no secret, and I happened to adore season 3. I actually liked it better than season 2, although nothing can top the brilliance and atmosphere of season 1.

🌟 I would give Stranger Things Season 3 4.5/5 stars

Then, I watched the entire first season of Jinn. Jinn was a new Netflix release, and if I’m not mistaken, their first Arabic Original Show. I was excited to watch this because Netflix branching out of English shows and actors is always something I want to see. However, this show is kind of ridiculous. After watching it, I saw a lot of comments online that the Arabic speech and sentences in this show make no sense. That no one would actually speak like this. Then I found out that the writer is American. So no thank you.

🌟 I would give Jinn 2/5 stars

After watching Jinn, I finally gave in to my brother’s reminders to watch this show and I started La Casa de Papel (or Money Heist, for the English speakers). In Europe, La Casa de Papel is one of the most popular tv shows. The majority of people I know have watched it, and those who haven’t at least know about it. After watching a YouTube reaction video, it appears as if this is not very popular in the US? Which is RIDICULOUS because this is one of the best shows ever. Also, don’t watch the dubbed version. Just use subtitles. You need to listen to the original Spanish…

I never actually said what this show is about but it follows a group of people who have taken codenames (city names) and are robbing The National Mint in Madrid.

🌟 I would give La Casa de Papel 5/5 stars

After Spain, I went back to China to binge-watch Go Go Squid, another drama to add to the favorites list. This follows a talented computer major who falls for a CTF player /owner of a CTF club. At first, I wasn’t quite sure because she seemed to like him for no reason other than his appearance. After a while, though, I became so attached to all the characters! I’m not just talking about the two main characters but also about her best friends, the players in his club, etc. Their relationship turned out so sweet as well.

🌟 I would give Go Go Squid 4/5 stars.

Lastly, I watched seasons 3 of both Skam France and WTFock. Both are remakes of the original Norwegian show Skam, which I absolutely adored. WTFock is the Flemish adaptation (Belgian), which I was hesitant to watch. I’m not really used to watching shows in my own language, especially ones about teenagers, so I was afraid it would end up being cringy. I fell in love with both adaptations of season 3, however.

🌟 I would give both Skam France and WTFock 4/5 stars

Those are all the shows I either finished watching in 2019, or caught up on! Obviously, I watched a few more shows but haven’t completed them yet. I’m quite pleased with this years’ TV watching, I seem to have visited quite a few countries through TV.

What did you watch in 2019? Have you watched any of these shows?

Why you should watch La Casa de Papel right now (if you haven’t already)

Today’s post is dedicated to La Casa de Papel, a Netflix show I absolutely adore. You might know it as Money Heist instead, since Netflix seems to believe you need to have an English title for it to be popular abroad.

la casa de papel

Title: La Casa de Papel (2017)
Country: Spain
Creator: Álex Pina
Episodes so far: 22
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

A mysterious man, known as “The Professor”, is planning the biggest bank heist in history. To carry out the ambitious plan, he recruits a team of eight people with certain abilities who have nothing to lose. The goal is to enter the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and print €2.4 billion. To do this, the team requires eleven days of seclusion, during which they have to deal with elite police forces and 67 hostages.

my thoughts on june 19

Today, I want to share my thoughts on why everyone should watch this show (if you haven’t already, of course). I know it’s quite popular in Belgium, but I don’t know whether that is true worldwide. Let’s talk about one of my new favorite shows!

You should watch it right now because…

⭐️ season 3 will be released tomorrow. On July 19th, Part 3 of the series will release on Netflix, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it. That means it’s the perfect time for everyone to either start the show, or catch up, because it’s the type of show you’ll want to binge-watch immediately. I watched the second season in a matter of days, which is quite the feat considering how little time I’ve had to myself lately.

⭐️ heist story. If you know me, then this will come as no surprise. I absolutely adore heist stories, whether they are in novel, TV or movie format. The fact that this show centers around a heist in Madrid was the reason I first started watching. If you love heist stories as well, this is the perfect show for you.

⭐️ action-packed, never a dull moment. The first 2 seasons (22 episodes) all take part during the heist, in a timespan of 11 days. At first, I expected it to be quite a slow-paced one, because there’s only so much you can do with 22 episodes on 11 days. However, the show managed to keep me clustered to my screen the entire time. I was never bored. Instead, I found myself fearing for the characters and rooting for them the entire time. I believe the way it was edited plays a large part in making it feel more dynamic and fast-paced.

⭐️ characters you’ll fall in love with. I always seem to root for the criminals, and this is no different. As you’re spending so much time with these characters in a closed environment for days on end, you get to know them pretty well. There are 8 members of the team, and the Professor, and all of them have time to develop their characters. Some more than others, sure, but you’ll end up getting attached to all of them.

⭐️ past and present intertwined. The series switches constantly between the heist taking place and the planning process. As events unfold in the present, their level of  planning and organization reveals itself. This made every twist more exciting to me, because I couldn’t wait to find out how much of the possible outcomes they had foreseen/anticipated.

I honestly can’t recommend this series enough. If you haven’t watched it, for some reason, please do so. Soon, you’ll have 3 seasons to binge-watch! I can’t wait to watch the new season tomorrow, even though I might not be able to actually start it when it’s released. I’m going to try my best and avoid spoilers!

Have you watched La Casa de Papel? Are you excited for season 3?

my thoughts on put your head on my shoulder (thoughts on TV)

put your head on my shoulderPut Your Head On My Shoulder (2019)
Country: China
Genre: drama, romance
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things all the time and is unable to make her own decisions. Her ordinary days are suddenly shaken up when the genius Physics student Gu Wei Yi appears in her life. The two accidentally end up living together and chaos begins.

Watch it here!


my thoughts on june 19

I stumbled upon Put Your Head On My Shoulder in my recommended videos on YouTube, and decided it was worth a shot. Weeks later, I find myself thanking YouTube because I’ve found another drama I adored. I don’t often watch shows where I have to wait for the next episode to come out, but that was the case with this one. Each Friday and Saturday at 2PM (my time zone), two episodes would be released. So you had to wait a little less than a week but you did get 4 episodes a week.

I haven’t seen many people talk about this drama, which is why I wanted to make sure to do a ‘thoughts on TV’ post on it.

What I loved about the show

⭐️ a main character I admire. I truly think Si Tu Mo is a heroine I could get behind. She’s trying hard to get a job in a field she wants to work in, even though her educational background doesn’t fit with it. She works hard when she finally gets a chance at an internship. She has a crush on her best friend, but doesn’t let him get away with taking advantage of her feelings or taking her for granted. She loves her friends, and supports them always. I absolutely loved her.

⭐️ soft boy! You all know how much I love a soft boy. Gu Wei Yi is such a kind person, and is the perfect love interest (in my opinion). He tries his best to do things she likes, to learn more about her interests, and to communicate in a way she understands. It’s all the little things that she doesn’t necessarily pick up on, but he tries so hard to make her happy.

⭐️ two people who are very different, falling in love. When I talk about being very different, I mean it in the way they process the world and communicate. Si Tu Mo is a very creative and outgoing person, who values relationships and communication. Gu Wei Yi is a scientist, and more quiet. He isn’t really used to expressing his thoughts and feelings, and struggles with communicating them to others.

⭐️ the best friend (who doesn’t deserve her) does not end up with Si Tu Mo. That’s not a spoiler, since you can tell from the poster and the description of the drama that the relationship will focus on Si Tu Mo and Gu Wei Yi. However, at the start of the show Si Tu Mo is very hung up on her best friend, Fu Pei. He takes her for granted though, and does not treat her well at all. I’m glad that this shows there’s no excuse for it, and you will lose the girl if this is how you behave. Sometimes, the best friend really doesn’t deserve the girl.

⭐️ don’t let go of your dreams because of a relationship. This is such an important message to me, so I’m glad this drama included it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you all, but they have to make a decision for their careers and lives that will make their relationship harder. Yet it’s an important opportunity, and I love the way they dealt with it.

⭐️ no tons of unnecessary relationship drama. I really hate having to watch the main characters get together only to have them separated an episode later. That’s not the case here.

There really wasn’t anything about this drama that I didn’t like. I’d highly recommend it, if my description sounds intriguing to you. It’s easy to watch as well, since they are all subtitled and available on YouTube! I will say, this is a very cute and bubbly show. If that’s not something you like, you won’t be able to watch this. I feel like I’ve gotten quite used to these types of shows because I’ve watched quite a few Asian dramas now, but I know not everyone will like it.

my thoughts on W – Two Worlds Apart (thoughts on TV)

w two worlds apart 2W – Two World Apart (2016)
Country: South Korea
Genre: suspense, fantasy, drama
Episodes: 16
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

A surgical resident is pulled into the webtoon world of W, which was created by her father, and becomes entangled in a murder mystery.





my thoughts on - review black (1)

After I finished Romance Is a Bonus Book and discovered that Lee Jong-suk had started his mandatory military service, I knew I had to watch his other shows as well. After all, it would be a while since I could see him in a new one… W, Two Worlds Apart seemed like the perfect fit for me, as it has a lot of elements I love: suspenseful story, comic books, murder, romance, and more. I’m so glad to say it lived up to my every expectation! Here are my thoughts on W.

What did I like about this show?

⭐️ fantasy + murder mystery + romance. This show is a perfect combination of three of my favorite genres! It follows a surgeon, whose father is a famous webtoon creator, as she accidentally gets dragged into the world of his webtoon and saves the main character. What she decides to do while in the other world, shows up on the webtoon as well, even though no one is drawing it. It’s an incredible blend of a romance and thriller with fantastical elements, and I loved it.

⭐️ incredible characters. I was so attached to all the characters in the show! I think the actors performed really well.

⭐️ binge-worthy show. I don’t always binge-watch shows. In fact, most of the time I don’t. I either don’t have the time, or the will to sit through an entire season in only a few days. With W, I almost couldn’t make myself stop watching.

There was one downside to this show, however.

 💥 became too convoluted at the end. Towards the end, the storyline felt a lot less suspenseful or intense to me, because it was just too convoluted. It seemed as if they had originally planned 14 episodes, but then threw in some stuff so they could extend it to 16. That just made it confusing at times, and more dramatic than necessary.

I would highly recommend watching this K-drama if you like stories that are action-packed yet have their romantic moments too. I haven’t been disappointed in a Lee Jong-suk show yet, and I hope that trend continues!

my thoughts on Burning | thoughts on TV

burningBurning (2018)
Director: Lee Chang-dong
Country: South Korea
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

Deliveryman Jongsu is out on a job when he runs into Haemi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood. She asks if he’d mind looking after her cat while she’s away on a trip to Africa. On her return she introduces to Jongsu an enigmatic young man named Ben, who she met during her trip. And one day Ben tells Jongsu about his most unusual hobby…


my thoughts on - review black (1)

I had never heard of Burning before watching a few ‘most underrated movies of 2018’ or ‘best movies of 2018’ videos. After seeing all these people talk about this movie in such an enthusiastic manner, I know I had to watch it as well. A little bit of research taught me that Burning would play twice in a cinema in Brussels, so I went with one of my wonderful friends.

I honestly don’t know how to describe my feelings on this movie. I definitely loved it, and spent ages after watching it thinking about the story and characters. However, I was left with so many questions too! Usually that would leave me pretty annoyed, as I’m not a huge fan of open endings. With Burning, I didn’t mind not having all the answers – or any, to be honest. It had me and my cousin spouting theories at each other for hours afterwards.

If it wasn’t obvious already, I highly recommend watching this movie. Let’s talk about the reasons why.

⭐️ the cinematography is absolutely mind-blowing. This movie is nothing short of stunning, and that alone makes it worth watching. The way they play with colors just leaves me speechless.

⭐️ a character-driven story that will slowly draw you in. Lately, a lot of the movies I’ve been watching have either been action movies or straight-up romances. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those, but it does make Burning stand out more. This is a movie that develops slowly, and captivates the viewer in an entirely different manner.

⭐️ incredibly atmospheric. I feel like the atmosphere of this movie helps you become more attached to the characters, as well as get drawn into the story itself. I’m not sure how else to describe the atmosphere this movie created. It’s been months since I watched this, and I can still remember how I felt sitting in that movie theater seat.

⭐️ manages to make the viewer feel certain emotions by manipulating them subtly. The director (as well as the actors) truly mastered the art of manipulating the viewers feelings without it being too obvious. There are no jump scares or typically scary things in Burning, but the majority of the time you will feel unsettled and off. It prods at your intuitive sense of knowing when a situation is dangerous.

⭐️ the fantastic performance of the actors. As this is a character-fueled story – which I have mentioned at least 3 times now – it is very dependent on the quality of acting. I’m happy to say that their performance was stellar here. Steven Yeun especially stood out to me, but maybe that’s because I was already familiar with him. Nonetheless, this might be my favorite performance of his I’ve seen so far.

I don’t want to give anything else away, because this is a story you truly have to go in knowing as little as possible. All I can do is to urge you to watch this movie, even if it doesn’t sound like one you’d like. I promise you the experience will be worth it.

my thoughts on romance is a bonus book | thoughts on TV

romance is a bonus bookRomance is a bonus book (2019)
Country: South Korea
Genre: romance, drama
Number of episodes: 16
Rating: ★★★★★ – a new favorite

Cha Eun Ho is a successful author and a senior editor at a book publishing company. Kang Dan-i is a mother and former successful advertising executive. When Cha Eun Ho was a child, Kang Dan-i saved him from an accident and was injured. Cha Eun Ho helped her recuperate and they have been close friends ever since. When Kang Dan-i goes through a major life change and tries to re-enter the professional world, their lives become even more connected. They face personal and professional challenges as they slowly start to realize their true feelings for each other.

my thoughts on - review black (1)

This drama came up in my recommendations on Netflix, and I immediately knew I had to watch it. I started it right away, and was caught up in absolutely no time. It had been a while since I watched a show where I had to wait a week for another (two) episode(s), but I couldn’t wait for it all to be released first. This has become one of my favorite dramas now! Let’s talk about the reasons why.

⭐️ the main characters have been friends for years. It’s no secret whatsoever that I adore the friends to lovers trope. Of all the romantic tropes that exist, I think this one culminates in a healthy relationship more often. They already know one another so well, and it makes their feelings seem far more believable as a viewer.

⭐️ there’s no unnecessary drama relationship-wise. I know that the point of romance dramas is for the viewer to be involved in the relationship, and to create tension so we keep watching. However, it gets kind of annoying when things keep getting in the way of the couple. This show isn’t like that at all, and I love it. It’s clear how much the main characters love and trust one another.

⭐️ it focuses on Dan-i’s career. I like the fact that this drama is about Dan-i becoming a part of the workforce again after being a stay-at-home mom for years. It shows how difficult it is to find a job these days, especially if you have a gap between jobs. She goes on so many interviews, only to be shut down for reasons she cannot change whatsoever. I completely understand her frustration, and seeing that on screen was incredible.

⭐️ soft boy! Do I really need to say more? You all know how much I adore soft boys. Give me all the kind, sweet, funny, and caring leads and keep all the bad boys.

⭐️ side characters. As the show goes on, you get to know the people Dan-i and Eun Ho work with more. I loved getting to know them, and seeing the friendships they develop along the way.

⭐️ it’s about a publishing company. As a booklover, you know that this is a plus for me. Thumbs up, everyone.

Even though I gave this show 5 stars, there is one thing I didn’t love. It isn’t necessarily something I disliked, I just have a lot of questions about it.

💥 Dan-i’s daughter is absent for this entire drama. Like I mentioned before, Dan-i was a stay-at-home mom for years. Her daughter is now at a boarding school (abroad?) which is why they don’t live together anymore. You see them call each other once in a while, but that’s all the interaction you get. I would have loved to see them together more, especially once Dan-i starts dating someone new.

If you haven’t watched this show, please do. I promise it’s worth your time.

my thoughts on Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo | thoughts on TV

weightlifting fairy kim bok-jooWeightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)
Country: South Korea
Genre: romance, drama
Rating: ★★★★ – really liked it

Bok Joo is a weightlifter who is pursuing her dream of winning the gold medal but she then finds romance for the first time in her life. While she is a woman who trains with heavy steel weights, she is also very feminine when it comes to relationships. To focus solely on weightlifting would jeopardize her relationship but leaving her weightlifting career for love would keep her from attaining her dreams. Can she find a way to have love as well as glory at the age of 20? The characters within this drama are elite athletes in weightlifting, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics who work hard to reach their goals in life. It covers their coming-of-age stories and relationships through hectic life.

my thoughts on - review black (1)

As usual, I will talk through my thoughts on this show in bullet points divided into what I liked, and what I didn’t like. Let’s get started!

⭐️ the woman is a weightlifter, the man a swimmer. Can I just say how much I love the fact that this story is about a woman who is a professional weightlifter? YES. Thank you for showing that women can be both powerful, strong, beautiful, and “feminine”. And I meant strong in a literal sense.

⭐️ the romance is so cute. You know that has to be a positive in my reviews. I loved their relationship, it was so adorable!

⭐️ friendships. I adored Bok Joo’s friends! All three of the girls were competitive weightlifters at the same university, but they weren’t jealous of each other’s achievements. Instead, they supported each other all the time.

⭐️ the ex-girlfriend wasn’t made into a villain. I hate it when shows make the male lead’s ex-girlfriend into an awful person to make the female lead seem better. Yes, in this drama the ex did something that wasn’t very nice, but I think we’re all human and prone to doing not-so-nice things at times. Yet she was never made to look like a bad person, or a shallow one.

💥 while the show is fun to watch, it’s kind of forgettable. I binged this show when I watched it, so I definitely enjoyed it. And I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars! However, weeks later I can barely remember the details of this drama. I can only recall the main points. That tells me that while this show is fun to watch, it doesn’t have that special something to make it into a memorable one, or a favorite drama.

Have you watched this drama? What did you think of it?