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.





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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 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.

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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.

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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?

my thoughts on Coffee Prince | Thoughts on TV

coffee princeCoffee Prince (2007)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Episodes: 17
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

Choi Han-kyul is the grandson of chairwoman Bang of Dongin Foods, a company that has a thriving coffee business. He has never had a job and does not care for responsibility. Han-kyul is hung up on his first love, Han Yoo-joo, who only sees him as a friend. Go Eun-chan is a 24-year-old tomboy who is often mistaken for a guy. Her father died when she was 16 years old and since then she has taken over as the breadwinner in her family. When Han-kyul and Eun-chan meet, he, not knowing that she is a girl, decides to hire her to pretend to be his gay lover so that he can escape the blind dates arranged by his grandmother.

After getting an ultimatum from his grandmother, Han-kyul takes over a rundown old coffee shop, later renamed “Coffee Prince”, to prove that he’s capable, both to his grandmother and to Yoo-joo. In order to attract female customers, he only hires good-looking male employees. Eun-chan, desperate for money, continues to hide her gender to get a job at Coffee Prince.

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I was kind of afraid to watch this incredibly famous Korean drama. Why, you ask? Mostly because it’s 12 years old at this point in time. The last time I watched an ‘older’ show, I ended up thinking it was okay, but I didn’t love it. However, I couldn’t just skip watching Coffee Prince either… When it appeared on Netflix a while ago, I decided to just give it a try. I’m so glad I did, because I ended up loving this show.

Let’s talk about all the reasons you should watch Coffee Prince if you haven’t yet!

⭐️ girl disguises as boy trope. I promise I’ll get into the details of this trope in the second point, but the fact that this show revolves around a girl having to pretend to be a boy to keep her job was more than enough to make me want to watch it. I’ve loved this trope for years, and I’m not ashamed of it.

⭐️ more than just a trope. Often, with the girl-disguises-as-boy trope, she ends up falling in love with a straight guy who never sees her as anything more than a friend, because he thinks she’s a guy. Did that make sense? It made sense in my head… Anyway, Coffee Prince is the first show I’ve watched that actually addresses gender and sexuality in this trope. Han-kyul thinks Eun-chan is a guy, and he has always thought of himself as heterosexual. Yet he knows he likes her in a way that isn’t very platonic. He spends days questioning his sexuality, and ends up deciding that Eun-chan’s gender doesn’t really matter to him. THANK YOU FOR THIS! Even though she actually isn’t a guy, I loved that the show made the main male character question his sexuality and think about what gender really means.

⭐️ found family. Yes, both leads to have actual family members in the show as well. Eun-chan lives with her mom and sister, and loves them very much. Even if her sister doesn’t really deserve it the majority of the time, let’s be honest. But the group of people who start working at Coffee Prince become a kind of family too. I loved getting to know the side characters, and seeing how they slowly started to care about one another.

⭐️ each side character has their own story. Like I mentioned earlier, I started to become attached to every character in this story, which was partly because they all have their own story as well. Someone who has been looking for a specific person for years, someone who can’t seem to go past date 1, someone who has been pining after a girl for ages but is being treated badly, etc. I was equally invested in all of them.

⭐️ a show that stay entertaining and relevant. Some shows that are more than a decade old don’t really hold up to today’s standard. Yes, I’m aware that 12 years isn’t that long, but the technology keeps improving so quickly and the viewers’ expectations keep growing higher and higher. There’s so much content to be consumed every day that it has become difficult to keep our attention. If I don’t like a show after 1 or 2 episodes, I won’t keep watching. There are way too many others on my to-watch list for that. Even though this show is one of the ‘older’ ones I’ve watched lately, I was immediately intrigued by it. The fashion, while a tad odd at times, didn’t bother me or make me laugh. (Yes, that definitely happens in other shows!)

I don’t really have anything negative to say about Coffee Prince at all! I love the girl-disguises-as-boy trope, but I adored the fact that this show didn’t implement it at the surface level. We actually get a main character who has to reconsider their sexuality, and has to determine whether gender matters to them or not. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. If you’ve watched this show, please DM me on Twitter so we can talk about it! I don’t want to leave any spoilers here, but I’d like to gush about it, to be honest…

I assume that a lot of you have already watched Coffee Prince but if you haven’t, please give it a chance! It’s definitely worth your time. If you have seen the show, what did you think of it?

what’s wrong with secretary Kim? | thoughts on TV

what's wrong with secretary kimWhat’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2018)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Viki
Episodes: 16
Rating: ★★★★★ – a new favorite

The series revolves around the narcissistic Lee Young Joon, the vice president of a company run by his family. He is very self-absorbed and thinks highly of himself, so much that he barely acknowledges the people around him. Lee Young Joon has a capable and patient secretary in Kim Mi So who has remained by his side and worked diligently for 9 years without any romantic involvement. However, Mi So now want to set her life & focus on herself so when she decides to resign from her job, hilarious misunderstandings ensue. After 9 years of their strictly-workplace relationship, can it now develop in something more?

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I’m back with another ‘thoughts on TV’ post, which are my mini reviews on movies or TV shows. So far, they’ve mostly been K-drama reviews because a) I love them and have been watching more and more of them in the past year and b) they tend to only have one season which makes it easy to watch and review them. Today, I’m talking about a show I watched in January but was released in 2018, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? 

Let’s start with everything I liked about this show!

⭐️ the reason Mi So decided to quit her job. I know that seems like a weird thing to love about a show, but it’s the first thing that struck me about this series. The reason is revealed pretty early on, and it’s just so wholesome. I love that it’s not about her being in love with her boss, or any other romance-related reasons. She did what she had to do for the past decade, and now she’s doing what she wants to do.

⭐️ the ridiculous level of narcissism. Young Joon was so narcissistic it became hilarious. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and made me laugh out loud so often. He just couldn’t fathom she left for reasons that didn’t revolve around him. I mean, everything revolves around him, right?

⭐️ the chemistry between the leads. I loved this ship. Honestly, both Park Seo-joon and Park Min Young are incredibly attractive, and they seem to work well together. They didn’t seem uncomfortable with one another (as I’ve seen in other TV shows), and I found their fictional romance quite believable.

⭐️ the fact that they’ve known each other for so long before falling in love. Can I just say thank you for another drama that isn’t a I-just-met-you-but-love-you one? I do love watching shows with meet-cutes, but I have an intense appreciation for couples with backstories. Yes, their relationship was professional in this case, but you can’t work so closely together with someone for 9 years without getting to know the person.

⭐️ literally everything. Yes, you heard it right. I loved What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, and know it’ll end up on my favorite dramas list.

Have you watched this K-drama? What did you think of it? Do you have any recommendations for me? This was my first time seeing Park Seo-joon or Park Min Young as leads in a show, but I’ll definitely be watching some of their other dramas and movies since I really enjoyed their performance in this one. 

My thoughts on Boys over Flowers | Thoughts on TV

boys over flowersBoys over Flowers (2009)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Episodes: 25
Rating: 6/10 – I liked it

Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun-pyo Koo.

Geum Jan-Di (Hye-seon Ku) is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.

There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Koo Jun-Pyo (Min-ho Lee), who is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji-Hu (Hyeon-jung Kim), So Lee-Jeong (Kim Beom), and Song Woo-Bin (Kim Jun). Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau.

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Please don’t kill me for this review. I know this is one of the most loved K-dramas out there! I know that so many people adore it. I’m already scared to write this review since I gave it 6/10. However, as you’ll see in my review the reasons I didn’t end up loving it are mostly circumstantial. If I had watched this drama under different circumstances or in a different situation, I might have loved it.

Here’s what I liked about the show!

⭐️ the story itself. I know it may seem like a dumb bullet point, but I don’t care. In itself, I love the story. It’s filled with tropes and cliches I happen to adore. Girl from a poorer family gets in to a private school and ends up pissing off the most popular and rich guy in school – the leader of the so-called F4. Obviously, they end up falling in love. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love stories.

⭐️ backstory of the side characters. If you’re unaware, this is not the only adaptation of the shojo manga that exists. In fact, there are many. I liked that this one had a more elaborate backstory for Yun Ji-Hu.

⭐️ enemies-to-lovers. Like I mentioned before, this is one of my absolute favorite tropes in romance stories. I’m such a sucker for it, and this show is no exception.

Now, on to what prevented me from loving this show.

💥 it wasn’t the first adaptation I watched which means I already knew what would happen. One could argue that you can always tell what’ll happen in these dramas, which is true. Most of them have a HEA-type ending. However, I knew most details of the story already so nothing ever surprised me.

💥 an ‘older’ version of the story. No, I’m not saying that you can’t love older shows. After all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are some of my favorite TV shows still. However, the remake of Boys Over Flowers I had seen prior to this one was released in 2018 which means that it’s an extremely modern and relatable take on the story. That’s not this show’s fault at all but it did leave me less connected to it. Like I mentioned at the start, the reasons I didn’t end up loving this are mostly situational. If I had watched this when it first came out, or even before watching Meteor Garden, I would have loved it more.

💥 the acting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the acting in this show. It felt a little bit over-the-top, especially Hye-seon Ku’s portrayal of Jan-Di. I’ll definitely try more of her shows in the future, just wasn’t a big fan of her in this one.

There you have it, my slightly controversial opinion on Boys over Flowers. As I mentioned a few times, I didn’t end up loving it due to the circumstances I watched it in. I’m sure I would have loved it more if I had seen it in 2009 – or simply before watching the most recent remake. Have you watched this show? Is it a nostalgic one for you? Let me know (and please don’t kill me)!

My thoughts on Something in the Rain | Thoughts on TV

something in the rainSomething in the Rain/Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food (2018)
Country: Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Number of episodes: 16
Rating: 8/10 – really liked it!

When a single career woman reunites with her best friend’s younger brother after he returns from three years of working abroad, their efforts to reconnect grow into romance.



my review

I’ve been enjoying writing these ‘Thoughts on TV’ posts because it allows me to take my mind off books for a while, and talk about the dramas I’ve been watching lately. I have to admit that this show is a tad fuzzy in my mind when it comes to what happened each episode because I binge-watched this. I just didn’t want to stop watching! I mean, that’s a good sign, right?

I’ll keep the same format for all my ‘thoughts on TV’ posts in the near future, because I’m quite enjoying the bullet point style. It really helps keep my thoughts concise!

Here’s what I loved about this show.

⭐️ portrayal of a healthy, adult relationship. I know I made that sound incredibly boring, but you can’t imagine how happy this made me. The fact that these two were friends for years first, how they fell in love with each other, and most importantly how well they communicated was so wonderful to witness. There was no toxic behavior, no alpha male stuff, and no guy screaming in the girl’s face. They have a healthy relationship and clearly care for each other so much.

⭐️ honestly, Joon-hee is the dream guy. Can I have one too, please? He’s kind, funny, respectful of her dreams and career, helps her stand up for herself, and is simply always there when she needs him. Plus, he’s so handsome…

⭐️ not having to wait 14 episodes for them to get together. I like that this was more of a story on their relationship, rather than one about their journey towards said relationship.

⭐️ addictive. This show was fantastic, and I couldn’t make myself stop watching. I binged the episodes and went to bed so late (for me, at least) because I just had to keep going.

⭐️ sibling relationships. In this story, Jin-Ah is best friends with Joon-Hee’s sister, and Joon-Hee is Jin-Ah’s brother’s best friend. Sorry if that seemed complicated… Anyway, there siblings are a huge part of their lives, which is clearly represented in the show. I have a brother too, and am lucky enough to have a good relationship with him. That’s why I appreciate it when I see it represented in a show.

⭐️ talks about sexual harassment at work. Look, we need to talk about this. I love that it showed how Jin-Ah stood up for herself and her colleagues, and spoke up about the inappropriate behavior of her bosses. The way they acted absolutely disgusted me, and I’m glad they didn’t just let it pass. Yes, she suffered consequences from speaking up. But that’s reality too.

There is something I didn’t really like about the show, however. I guess it’s more something I don’t understand, rather than something I don’t like.

💥 I didn’t understand what the big deal was. They keep their relationship quiet because they’re afraid their loved ones will be against it. And they are. I have to admit that I don’t understand? They’re both adults, make each other happy, and have a healthy relationship. So she’s a few years older than he is? So what? It’s not even that big of a difference… I don’t understand how you could choose to not support a relationship like theirs.

I would highly recommend this show! It’s so adorable, wholesome, and sweet! But also with some drama and fights, and a cold shower of reality. It’s made it up my list of favorites, and I’m definitely going to look up what other shows the actors play a role in.