I was bitten by K-Drama bug for sure. Recently, I managed to view some of the most talked-about series on Netflix like Crash Landing On You, two seasons of Kingdom, and film Marriage Story.
There’s no need to repeat why people went to the moon feeling giddy with CLOY that stars Hyun Bin, and Son Ye-jin. It is the highest-rated tvN drama and second-highest-rated Korean drama on cable. And some of the reasons for this success, I daresay, might be the undeniable sexual chemistry shared by Hyun who portrayed Captain Ri Jung Huk and Son who played the affluent damsel-in-distress Yoon Se-ri.
Both performers are charismatic, eye candies even, pleasurable to the senses no doubt, and when they look at each other, you throw all cautions in the wind, go with the ride and believe that hey, these actors did not fake it, they could be in love. How can they not be?
In terms of fashion, I do love the shorter than short corporate skirts worn by Seri complete with tailored top, paired with trench coats or winter jackets, to die for dangling earrings, scarves, belts, bags and those knockout stilettos.
For someone who ate so heartily in this Korean drama, Son Ye-Jin seemed to have the tiniest waist. Her male counterpart, Hyun Bin—whether in his military uniform or color-blocked suits and black turtle neck pullovers—was always so fashion runway ready.
We know the drill that the characters they gave life to will eventually fall in love and be head all over heels with each other. How they got to that point made the drama ride more kilig.
More feels to CLOY courtesy of the sincere kinships shared by Captain Ri and his North Korean comrades who were also beguiled, charmed and found a kindred spirit in Se-ri.
Brilliant writing on how the antagonist is presented and super acting particularly Oh Man-seok who, up to the last breath of his character, shows no remorse for his misdeeds.
Everything about Crash Landing On You had a calculation and timing to it, especially the hugging and locking of the lips scene shared by the two major characters. It always happened during a situation you least expect it or at a time when you know it is a must and should end with a kiss and boy, Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin were as real as it gets kissers.
Meanwhile, Kingdom, season 1 and 2 was written like a Shakespearean play, the power struggles that brewed, cooked and put in place inside the palace during Korea’s Joseon period.
Ju Ji-hoon gives life to a Crown Prince Lee Chang who becomes embroiled in a political conspiracy and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious event.
What I found most arresting about Kingdom is how believable the zombie story arc is incorporated—truly an integral ingredient that gives the costume drama a more engaging plot sealed with adrenaline and testosterone.
One of its more commendable elements is the musical score that rouses the emotions of the viewers and the fact that the zombies run faster than a speeding bullet and eat anyone in sight added more chills.
Big applause to actors Ryu Seung-ryong who gave new meaning to the words sinister, scheming and vengeance as Minister Cho Hak-ju (Ryu Seung-ryong) and Kim Hye-jun as the Queen Regent who coveted and lusted for power and did everything to ensure her hold of it.
Chasing and running, sword fighting, blood spurting from decapitated necks, and how a battalion of zombies whose reign of terror ended in an unexpected manner will surely be a topic of long conversations of Kingdom fanatics and virgin watchers.
Marriage Story, a drama written, directed, and produced by Noah Baumbach is an emotional knockout. It is like an arrow intended to hit one’s heart to break and pierce it.
No denying, it made me cry buckets because of the emotional commitment and ferocity that Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver give to their characters, the Barbers, Nathalie and Charlie.
As expected, the film received widespread critical acclaim, with praise drawn towards Baumbach's screenplay and direction, Randy Newman's score, and the performances of Johansson, Driver, and Dern.
I was only acquainted with how good Adam is as an actor when he essayed the roles of Rylo Ken and Ben Solo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and anyone, who killed his own father Han Solo, of course, leaves an emotional imprint that can never be erased.
In Marriage Story, specifically in the exhaustive confrontation scene with Scarlett, the heart wrenching “Being Alive” song number, the accidental reading of the letter of Nathalie moment, all I can say for Mr. Driver is a wow.
Just imagine this tall man, pouring his heart, expressing how he feels, in a dialogue so truthful and hurtful, breaking down at the end, asking for forgiveness, then you get to see him sing, with each line laced with so much honesty, you cannot help but want to hug this big man and tell him, this, too, shall pass.
And yes, on point, Johansson is the perfect Nathalie to Adam’s Charlie.
Do I mind being bitten by the Netflix bug? Of course not. What I mind though, with such terrific offerings, I hope the forthcoming movies that will be shown in cinemas and the new television shows that will all air after this quarantine season, do not pale in comparison. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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