KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Heartless City (2013)

Heartless City
무정도시 / Cruel City
(May – July 2013)

--Spoiler Free Review--

who’s in it
Jung KyungHo (Smile You, Time Between Dog and Wolf)
Nam GyuRi (49 Days, Life is Beautiful)
Kim YooMi (Enjoy Life, Country Princess)
Lee JaeYoon (Ghost, Just Like Today)
Yoon HyunMin (Still You, More Charming By the Day)
Choi MooSung (I Live in Cheongdam-dong)
Son Chang Min (Horse Doctor, Man of Honor)
Go Na Eun (Assorted Gems) 

what’s it about 
For a show like this one, built on violence, suspense, and misdirection, any summary becomes too much summary because even a half morsel of information ends up giving everything away.

The bones of this drama, however, is simply about a police task force created for the sole purpose of bringing down a shifty criminal network that has been flooding massive amounts of soul-sucking drugs into Seoul. That is the spine of it, but there is so much more to the tale than the basic promise of cops going after drug dealers. There is blood, heart, brains, and a whole heaping mess of beautifully filmed gore, gristle, muscle…basically it’s a cinematically riveting organic explosion about the darker side of human nature as told from the point of view of a criminal underworld and a legal system that behaves no different than the people it chases. It is a modern story with old themes, ones as old as Rome, about the redemption of devils and the corruption of angels.

Lee JaeYoon plays the detective chasing and Jung KyungHo plays the man being chased. Nam GyuRi plays the innocent caught between two worlds. That’s all you are allowed to know until you watch it, the show will reveal the rest. That’s all you should want to know if you have any interest in watching this one. Trust me on this, Heartless is not the show you should indulge your need for spoilers, as part of its hypnotic quality is about going in blindfolded and tied, being tossed completely innocent into this stylish romance with the dark side. 

20 episodes


Lee JungHyo

Yoo SungYeol

Nam HyeSung
Amazing soulful music in this one, and perfectly constructed for the show. There were so many layers that it fit so many aspects and themes. Hints of jazz and blues, sometimes even carnie, and all parts emotional.

Choi YoonMan

The look of this one was all vintage style, atmospheric, and a personality of its own. Practically black and white…without actually being filmed in black and white.

first impressions
What’s the date and time? I may have to notarize this moment.

It is possible that I have just begun watching the hands-down coolest, sexiest, most awe-smacking, well-produced drama served up to a kdrama audience in recent memory. Can a person tell they are living a momentous historical moment even before that moment passes? Absolutely I’m going overboard, but that’s how much amazement I have for this one, and how impressed I am by the first few episodes.

Not all the main characters have been introduced yet, in fact, a few only catch minutes of airtime. The ones we do meet have little direct interplay with the wider net of players as yet. They exist in their own corners of Seoul. Still, we already know that they are all insidiously interconnected, whether by circumstance or by people. The showdown we all know is coming already feels epic. We feel it looming ahead like the iceberg that must have seen the bloated tanker Titanic approaching. We know some of these characters only by their aliases, but what will happen when we know their true names and their true faces? How will they be revealed when their costumes are stripped away and the truth of the person inside is laid bare?

This world is a winding clock, and the players in it the gears grinding along…and it is not a natural world in which they exist, not a world built for surviving.

And as spectators, we all hold our breaths knowing that someone or something—pure and hot—is about to come along with a hammer and smash its constant simple logic to smithereens, offering us a glimpse into the chaos and complexity behind the movement of lives. 

wildcard factor
Wildcard 1: Nam Gyuri 
Ok, I’ll say it on behalf of everyone, cuz yes, we’re all thinking the same thing: Nam Gyuri looks like a doll, a beautiful porcelain doll that is an unrealistic depiction of female perfection. Do we like her as an actress? For me personally, she’s not my fave. And I am aware she makes more than a few fans hesitate. Her casting made me hesitate, too. She’s not a bad actress, but she’s not proven to be a great actress either. At my most critical, I would even dare to call her casting as a shallow choice. At my kindest, I would say it was a casting that felt fitting to the part. I cannot think of an actress I would confidently cast as Nam Gyuri’s replacement, but another part of me believes there surely exists someone who would have done the part more justice. So I am still a little conflicted, but not enough to change my opinion of the show.

First of all, the shallow casting bit: Nam looked the part she needed to play, a young innocent girl/woman sucked into the glamorous and enveloping warmth of the criminal underground that lured her with false security. The young actress looks like a pure doll, but she also looks like a plaything for men, and I mean that with no offense, simply as a statement of casting fact. She’s supposed to look like a doll. In this show, they styled her right: she was given a vintage flair, jazzy and sassy, heavy on the eyeliner. The little girl innocence that was carried in her exaggerated features made her alien, flawless, cold, but also carried in them a lost quality that was sometimes intriguing.

The point? We were never supposed to love Nam Gyuri’s character as much as we loved the men of the show. This is a genre of filmmaking that makes women the catalysts for movement, the femme fatales, not the thing being moved itself. She was a magnet that pulled at the men. If she wasn’t someone we could love, then it was ok that she was merely a device for and witness to the destruction to come. A shining piece of jewelry was all she needed to be for the show, at the minimum. She does succeed in being more than just that, thankfully.

Second, this wasn’t a conventional drama where the central love story was all that important. There were multiple ‘romances’ in this one—bonds between men, women, friends, enemies—and they all held deeper significance than perhaps what drama followers would dub as the OTP=One True Pairing. There were many personalities in this show, including women, and they all held a very real piece of the main character Jung KyungHo’s heart. Would it surprise to know that Nam, the main female star of this show, literally probably only had about a few hours worth of screen time out of 20 hours? In the first three episodes alone, she shared less than five minutes of screen time with her portended lover.

Perhaps her character only worked because she had such a significant yet brief part in the show. The trailers painted her as the main female star, and her chemistry with Jung KyungHo was genuinely electric (although he did have chemistry with everyone in this one), but in all fairness, the real lady of this drama was Kim YooMi.

And further, I would even argue that both the main men of this show, if they had an OTP in this drama, would not be with Nam but a woman that never had her full story told. I’ll leave it at that. Those who have seen it know of who I am speaking.

Wildcard 2: 
The Nature of A Crime Thriller
There are usually two huge concerns when it comes to the Korean drama version of a thriller, whether crime, cop, or whatever. 1) The worry that it will be some ridiculous farce of special effects abuse without any plot, or 2) the fear that it’ll end with everybody dead. And really, who wants to see either of those kinds of crap things in the summer, right?

As a general statement, yes, the drama industry does make some pretty fail action shows. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. You won’t be cringing at the action and violence in this one because it is so fake, you’ll be cringing because it is so bloody brutal and real. And they get pretty creative about it so that they can actually get away with airing it.

Second, the fear of a show’s ending for one such as this is legitimate. But this is a show where if you fear getting hurt by it, you will end up missing a wonderful experience. Some relationships are better for having gone through it, even if it brought you only pain. For really, at the end of it, you can say (to your therapist), “Wow, that drama really made me…feel something. It hurt. A lot. But I think it was worth it.” If art’s grand purpose is to move peoples’ emotions, this one does its job. Don’t fear how it will move you. Yes, I won’t sugarcoat it, Heartless will leave you wretched, but you’ll love every minute of it.

snoozer moments
Not a single minute of it. 20 episodes never felt so content-stuffed, character-rich, and plot over packed. In fact, this is a show that might have benefited from going to 24. It might not have felt as tightly scripted, but I think it would have been able to iron and explain a lot of the plot movements and jumps that many found confusing, make understanding of some wrinkles that felt rushed, jumping in logic and chronology.

But of course, an extension would have been unlikely for many reasons, but most especially because of main star Jung KyungHo’s serious back injury during filming that had him literally crippling to the final credit roll. I never felt so sad to see a show go, yet so relieved, for it meant the actor could finally let go of work and tend to his health. It became stressful watching the final episodes of the show…for the drama’s storyline, and the real life pain on Jung’s face.

soju guzzling (angst factor) 
Frankly, I think these characters only consumed misery and liquor. Normal people take a nap or watch television to decompress, these people drank, drank, drank. Sometimes they chugged down hard liquor like it was water. Jung KyungHo is a skinny thing and his character drank like a skinny alcoholic whale.

what didn’t work 
Nothing. Turns out when I love something this much, even when there are faults, I am unwilling to go there. Well, I guess I will say, I think the ending is up for debate and dissection and dissension, depending on who you ask, but I won’t do that in this review.

what did 
To comment that this might be a career launching drama for many in the cast is a weird thing to claim, since many of the actors are well-established in the business. To say it will be a career changing one is even stranger, since the drama barely pulled in 1% in ratings during its airing. But it is a testament to the drama’s excellence and the actors’ amazingness that most watchers walked away from this one with two responses. One, that this drama was amazing in both its writing and acting. And two, what the hell were the other 99% of tv watchers in the ROK watching if not this?

The amazing fucking AMAZING cast (to name just a few):

Jung KyungHo | Doctor’s Son/Jung ShiHyun

Kim YooMi | Lee JinSook/YiSeul

Kim JongGu | Chairman Jo/Busan

Choi MooSung | Safari Moon/Moon DukBae

Yoon HyunMin | Soo/Kim HyunSoo

notable scene(s)
Without a doubt, Jung KyungHo’s character had brass balls. He often strolled into danger knowing he would likely not stroll back out. While every other scene was a stand out in this show, I have to highlight the fact that any time Jung KyungHo and Choi MooSung shared the screen, the results were electrifying. The two men were like two sharks who circled the same reef, and occasionally, just occasionally, they found themselves in the same shallow surf. And blood often spilled.

what kept me going
Other factors:
predictability No.
cheese/engrish N/A
originality The themes have all been played before, but in a project made with a mind to honor what came before, the originality is in the successful delivery. So yes, original not for its plot specifically, but original because it was so flipping amazing.
eye-candy Yes
hair and fashion Simply GORGEOUS, obvious loving attention was devoted to the styling. Much of this show was communicated through visuals and actions, not merely words. There were two layers, what we were given at face value and what was slipped to us in subtext. Sometimes the subtext was all the more telling than what rippled on the surface.

why you might like it
Oh I dunno, cus it’s awesome?

why you might not
Intense, serious, very little romance, hardly any flirt, no funny. Lots of death. Romcom lovers will be wary of this one, but I have to tell you, it is totally worth the thorns to get to the rose. I swear.

a list:
The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Drop All Other KDramas and Watch This One Right Now

10: Bloggers Unanimous
My opinion is but one, and I’ll be the first to admit, not usually concurrent with trend, but this was a drama that united kdrama bloggers across the web, bloggers of all molds. We can’t all be wrong, can we? There were a lot of other dramas with bigger press going during Heartless City’s airing, including direct time slot competitor Shark. Unlike other dramas that boasted trendy names and trendier plot devices, this one was vague, only hinting at something to do with adult themes. This little crime drama was the strange moody interloper that didn’t quite fit into a category, but still, despite its black sheep status, we fans still found it. Sure, native K-audiences didn’t tune in, but it sure seemed like most every other English-speaking kdrama blogger did. I’m sure it says something about the difference in taste between audiences across oceans, but I think it speaks volumes more about the quality of the drama itself, in that it truly did capture the noir spirit it chased, which is as American and western in cynicism as it gets: nihilism, corruption, and moral ambiguity. If only out of pure curiosity, don’t you want to see what all the fuss was about?

9: Violence Beautiful
There was a lot of unrepentant violence, sometimes shocking in its brutality, occasionally beautiful in its orchestration. There were guns, but the majority here preferred bats, steel pipes, and intensely personal use of short and sharp blades. You know, we are the only creatures who play at killing for pure fun, instead of need, but it is not a hobby without cost for the killer. It is a traumatic thing seeing life extinguished. And the characters in this show felt it, carried it with them. Even the fight scenes carried a lot of weight, in blood, emotion, and pain. There were no easy deaths in this one.

8: HD Ready
Most of the scenes were in secret hideaways and dark corners of Seoul such as warehouses, police stations, interrogation rooms, 24-hour convenience stores, evening drinking haunts, etc. Even places of their daytime travels were depressing in their hollow brightness: abandoned amusement parks, prison yards, cemeteries, orphanages, etc. 
Gloomy was the world that hugged these people whether in the daytime or at night, and certainly it was no coincidence that many of the scenes were set against dusk and dawn, but all of it, even in its gloom, was done with purpose. The scenery was meant to be a part of the story, and it is great that technology lets us enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed, in glorious High Definition. The cityscapes alone, the cold beauty of a heartless night glittering with diamonds lit of human avarice, were worth the price of admission alone.

7: Sex in a Heartless City
People actually had The Sex in this one, like romping between the sheets sex, and the twisting against flesh type of real sex. Not just pressing tightly shut lips against one another. Nothing tacky and gratuitous, of course, but this was a sexy crime thriller, and its denizens knew about the sexy sex. 
Lust, love, desire, revenge, blood, betrayal…all of it was bared because it was needed and required for a story like this one, otherwise, it would not have rang true. This was, above all, about the baser instincts of man: sex, drugs, and yes, homicide.

6: Shakespearean Relationships
In every direction, there was the unfolding and coiling, and then even more unfolding, of various relationship lines. And the coils were lined in thorns. Many of the characters didn’t even realize they were already drowning in someone else’s blood until the barbed vines were pulled away. The Puppet King who loved his son more than the throne. The Usurper who lost everything. The Femme Fatale who prized herself too much and too little. The Assassin who didn’t know how to stop. The Girl who fell in love with the wrong kind of boy. The Godfather who wanted to bury them all.

5: A Love Story That Burned 
The romance between Jung KyungHo and Nam Gyuri was a small band-aid for wounds too large, it only temporarily masked and relieved their pain. Their connection was a single flame caught in a thunderstorm. It burned so very hot, so much so that they both were burned by their immediate attraction and helpless to deny it, but like anything so pure and honest and instinctive, it could only be sustained in a cruel world for a short period. Is there a girl worth dying for? Crying for? Throwing everything away for? Is there a boy worth dying, crying and throwing everything away for? Or are those sorts of choices beyond the characters of this show? A hope too luxurious? In its quickness and intensity, it left us all longing for their happiness, and aching when their bittersweet story found its conclusion.

4: Sneering Dialogue
The language—in tight restraint or spitting fury, the inflections, the deliberation of word choices, the way vowels dripped from lips and were left hanging between characters like notes building a song—was an aspect of costuming that titillated and enthralled, and was one of the more fun(nier) parts of the show. Everyone had their jab at acidic wit, Jung KyungHo, Kim YooMi, and Yoon HyunMin all delivering their lines with a cadence full of curl and cunning. Jung KyungHo’s manner of speech drawled somewhere between city and slum and was enigmatic in its inflection. But truly, it was the boys of Busan that really delivered their lines in a way that was downright terrorizing. Choi MooSung, for example, playing a ruthless killer, hummed his dialogue in a sneering vibrato of a purr that was all at once sinister yet melodic. Whenever his Safari crowed his favorite turn of phrase, to wish everybody who got in his way to live, eat, shit, or die beautifully, it was always both chilling yet playful. And that was delivery of script that took on a life of its own.

3: Silky Costuming
The styling and costuming of this show was a feast for the eyes, which one rarely says outside of sageuks usually. Even though this drama was a contemporary drama, it felt like a period piece at times, its view of a criminal underworld straight out of a closet of a hipster obsessed with the high fashion of prohibition era gangsters and their women. There’s no overestimating the importance of styling in a show of this type. It was all about the vintage. 1940’s America mixing with 2013 Korea, classic patterns and cuts, floral and frilly, a penchant for color and designer ritz, but with way shorter skirts and a lot more skin and sexy. And nowhere was style more evident than on the women.
It must have been pure bliss for the two primary actresses to dress in these clothes, especially Kim YooMi, who was never forced to wear a fabulous outfit twice. The actress said she lost weight to play this role, and I can see why, her wardrobe was amazing, but also the kind of cuts and fabrics that would be unforgiving, the kind that would demand perfection to wear perfection.

2: The Cast
In terms of production, this was a show that excelled from top to bottom, from thread to end. Story was tight. Music was practically its lovechild. Direction was pitch perfect. And as good as the people behind the scenes, the cast in front of the lens delivered. It appeared to be a relationship between cast and crew that was fated. The actors seemed born to play these parts…and it was simply amazing that fate not only made this drama happen, but brought this cast together. There was no Huge Name star in this one that would make advertisers jump up in trendy hunger, but it is clear that the actors were not chosen for their mass market appeal, they were casted for their talent, for their look and fit for their very specific parts. They were recruited to play in this very dramatic, very perfectly choreographed theater. They all did so much in such minute details to create colorful people that were bigger than reality, but so believable in their tarnished humanity.

1: Jung KyungHo 
If none of the nine reasons above entice in the least, than watch it for no other reason than to enjoy Jung KyungHo bring to existence the kind of devil in a dark suit that was even greater than the show itself. This one was never really about just a story following good guys capturing bad guys, it was a discussion about morality, and the mortals among us who play games with it. It was about larger-than-life characters born innocent but chipped and cracked and coerced into monsters by a cruel world, and none among an entire cast littered of broken glass pieces of humanity made a greater impression than this actor’s portrayal of Jung ShiHyun. There was an outsider charm to him, a dark brooding rebellion trapped and stifled by the wrapping of society. The dashing intensity of a young Montgomery Clift with the spit and skin of a vicious Al Pacino.
Not only did Jung sacrifice much personally in real life to see his character Jung ShiHyun to the very end, fighting through a debilitating back injury to finish filming one of the best dramas I have ever seen, but he succeeded in creating a hero among devils. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the master of allegory, once observed, in cynicism, “A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world.” Jung KyungHo’s tragic figure waged a one man war on a world where heroes were dirtier than the villains, and became the only kind of hero that could exist in a Heartless City—a broken and bloodied one.

total enjoyment factor 

why this review is completely biased
It is surprising to me that it has taken this long for such a clever drama like this to be born when I think of the great risks Korean films have taken lately, and yet, I suppose, from a financial engineering point of view, not surprising at all. Apparently, as it’s coming to everyone’s attention, it’s expensive and risky business making a modern kdrama, some pointing fingers at deregulation as a main problem. Producers must be willing to gamble…and afford to take a loss, which they aren’t, so they chase the pandering tail (this incidentally probably explains why we’ve been seeing a lot more established idols with large fanbases instead of newbie actors in peripheral drama roles; a statement of fact, not judgment). Considering the news stories that have been coming out of late regarding how these dramas are financed, and the train wreck of lives the failed ones can leave behind, it sounds less like television production and more like playing high stakes backroom poker.

While I love the fluff, I’m also a pretty jaded tv watcher. Can you blame me? There’s a lot of crap out there, and I’m not specifically talking kdramas, I’m talking all kinds of tv and movies. But Heartless City came along…and made my eyes pop. Best of all? It got my jaded brain and my fangirl heart to come to an agreement, which majority of the time doesn’t happen. These are two personalities of my kdrama watching that sit on each shoulder and duke it out…sometimes the brain wins, most of the time my fangirl heart triumphs.

Not in this case. The two were standing on my head hugging each other and jumping up and down in glee.

Even as an homage to an old American cinematic style, it impressed and never embarrassed itself in the comparison. It was an honest tribute that stayed true, but was of course painted with kdrama elements. Peculiarly, but delightfully, America in the mid-1900s synchronizes well with 2013 South Korea in vogue and spirit.

As far as noir goes, it’s not my most favorite genre. My experience with it varies. Two of my favorite films of all time are noir, Rebecca and Vertigo, and yet, I would describe watching some others as having suffered through them, what pops first to mind is The Devil Thumbs A Ride. Since I’m not a film student nor an aficionado of the genre, I can’t claim to have loved it because it was noir, but I did love it because it was a stylized crime tale. In fact, I’m one of those people who have read Mario Puzo’s novels, instead of only having seen the Godfather films, and love those types of immersive gangster tales. For me, Heartless felt less like the classic noir films I have personally encountered, but more in line with the sulky and thinking sleaze of the younger generation of films that tackled organized corruption, such as Once Upon A Time In America, The Untouchables, Layer Cake, Eastern Promises, etc. In the end, no matter how anyone wants to label it, I guess what this show and its characters have in common with the Humphrey Bogarts, the Robert De Niros, the James Woods, the Daniel Craigs, and the Viggo Mortensens of the world is that they’ve now all cut teeth on a really cool crime tale.

I’ve kept this review fairly content brief and to the point:

I loved it.

This has easily become my favorite drama of all-time, as of 7/30/2013. And I know that in time, the pain and anxiety (in a good way) that this show has caused me will stop hurting and heal. Right? Right!?

The drama in its generic architecture was one about good guys chasing bad guys, except the real point of it was not if the good guys succeeded in saving the day, but to ask the question: what is the definition of a good guy and a bad guy? What beats in our deepest parts, who hides behind the lies we tell the world, the lies we tell ourselves? This struggle was the whale that devoured everybody in this show.

Is it noir, is it kdrama, is it this, is it that? Strip away all the fancy classifying of this show and we are left with one resounding answer, and this is fact: this was a tv show of 20 parts that happened to air on tv in South Korea, and it was damn good.

I have hopes of posting an in depth analysis of the show for my own catharsis and that post will be unapologetically crammed with lots of gushing and raving and ranting, including a discussion about the ending. So, basically, it will obviously be a spoiler landmine which is why I’m gonna post it separately. A show like this deserves to be peered at to death with a microscope, and my generic review format just won’t cut it. So instead I just threw at my review pictures galore, pretty much everything but a picture of the kitchen sink. To me, most important, was the aim to entice new viewers to try it but without accidentally spoiling it for a fan who hasn’t fortuned upon it yet.

Official Site

Everyday by Jo JungHee
src: newkpopmelody18


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome review! It makes me want to watch HC again. And I just finished my second viewing. :)

    You've done an excellent job capturing and sharing the spirit of the drama and managed to keep it spoiler free to boot!

    I look forward to your spoiler-filled post. :D

    --Betsy Hp

    1. Thanks so much Betsy!! That means a lot coming from you, I know how much a fan you are, too. I did see that you were doing a rewatch from your site! I was impressed! I'm still wheeling from the first go. ^^

    2. Hee! Maybe I'm a bit of masochist? ;) Part of it was a reluctance to leave that world. Another part was just wanting to see how it all worked now that I knew everything. (It worked incredibly well -- Safari alone was worth the rewatch.)

      --Betsy Hp

    3. I just noticed what I wrote. Haha, I meant *reeling*...maybe I'm *wheeling* around too. =P You know, that makes sense, that it's a whole different watch the second time. I bet knowing the whole story, the beginning episodes take on a whole new meaning. I def must do as you did and revisit it again VERY soon!

  2. amazing!!! I love cruel city so much as my first addiction this year since no korean drama got me before.

    I am totally AGREE with all of you said even about Character of Soomin and Lee jinsuk which I have complicated feeling. In one side, I watched HC cause NGR while she is not my fav actress, but then addicted cause of JKH. I love LJS's character but kinda hate of her love line to shihyun..

    maybe I'll more enjoy it if LJS meet him when he already a mature man so I can accept her love towards him as a mature love...

    while NGR, like you said, I dont say she is bad but neither she is nailed her character very well.. I really think that her character have enough potential to be at same level with LJS... what do you think about kim joo young? tough she is just about 14 years old, she can pull her self to look like a 18 years old, cant she?

    after all, from the beginning until the end of your post, is amazing! You write completely about heartless city very well, thank you very much... From all of 10 reasons to watch this, I love no 10 and 1 the most!

    I've read more than 10 international blogger from different country all over the world, you're my favorite after vaultofdoom.wordpress.com :-)

    Once again thank you very much, make me feel much more proud again for watching HC and it came one of my favorite drama too! ah JKH too.. my new obsession of korean artist :-)

    1. Oh wow, thanks readlead!! Your words are very kind, and very much appreciated. I'm glad to hear from fellow fans of Heartless City that I have captured the spirit of the show in this review.

  3. Hi there! Ive been waiting for your review and I thought you've been taking your sweet time posting it, and I absolutely love your review. I agree with everything you said but what stick s the most is that it is m #1 kdrama of all time. I think this one is hard to beat. Well I'm a bit biased because I heart flheartless city to pieces. This is a beautiful, awesome, amazing drama. It may not be perfect but for me it is. Thank you for a beautiful review! Keep writing! !!

    1. Heheh, you're right! I did take a LONG time to post this! I really stressed myself out wanting the review to adore the drama as much as I did. I spent way too much time making character posters...which I have more of and will post later. Truthfully, the review sat as a finished draft for a week before I could bring myself to hit the publish button! Ha. That's how much I loved this drama. I'm insanely biased over this guy, too.

  4. If possible, I was wondering if I could draw the banners you made and post them on deviant art because I love them and it's for my sister's birthday. It's okay if you don't want me to though.

    1. You mean The Doc, Femme Fetale, Enforcer, etc? Sure. Be sure to come back and give me a link, I'd love to see your artwork when it's done!

    2. Thanks for giving me permission! And I'll definitely give you the link when I'm done!

  5. OMG! I am a HUGE FAN( who isn't nowadays?) of your BLOG! AS SOON AS THE VERDICT FOR HEARTLESS CITY, I instinctively knew that I just HAD TO watch it!! and OMG was that the best decision of MY entire LIFE OR WHAT!!
    SPOILER ALERT: it sure was

    1. Hahahha, thanks!!! I'm SO glad you loved Heartless so much, too. Welcome to the Heartless City fanclub!^^

  6. Umm, I d like to ask an esteemed as well as seasoned k-drama lover and blogger(the usual buttering followed by request strategy) such as yourself what your verdict is on the melodrama 'Secret Love'. A couple of days ago I 'accidently' watched an episode 10 on KBS channel and was deeply intrigued and went on to doing a freaking thesis on the show(just kidding about the thesis part but seriously though I became a wee-too obsessed and if the show was by some miracle a law abiding citizen it would have filed a restraining order against me XD)

    1. Aw, you're so sweet to say such nice things, heheh, although I'm pretty sure any esteem I have is only in my own mind! =) You know, I've been away so I haven't checked in on my blog in about two months, and have fallen behind on drama watching, too. I've been trying to catch up. I haven't seen Secret Love yet, actually! But it did pretty darn well in the ratings! I'm curious myself what the fuss was all about--so you like it, huh? Let me know what your verdict is if you finish!

  7. Thanks for the review. I just finished Heartless City and I'm glad I'm not the only one raving about it. Noir is not my usual thing, but the characters in this were just too compelling and I had to keep watching.
    I think this might be getting a second, slower second viewing in the near future :)

    1. I also have to add that Min looks like my dentist. Adding that to my general dislike of having someone stick pointy metal things in my mouth, I can imagine future checkups to be a strange cross between amusing and uncomfortable...

    2. Oh, hahah! Yes, I don't think I would like my dentist to look like him! That's a doubly funny and scary association. Now, as for ShiHyun, I would not mind him getting up close and personal! ;-)

  8. It's my first time visiting your blog i was just searching about the ending of this drama and i ended up here! I liked your review! But, the ending of this drama... Oh godddd it killed me!!! I couldnt even understand why that director Min did all that and... For gods sake why did he Doc?! I wish you could explain all that to me cuz i just cant get over this ending!


A Jerk-Free Zone: this is a site for friendly debate, please be respectful and courteous to others. Comments that violate that spirit will be removed. This will be strictly enforced. Thank you.

Recent Posts

A Year End Review
Biased & Worst of 2013

Badasses & Bromances

First Impressions
Let’s Eat (2014)
식샤를 합시다
(Nov 2013 – Mar 2014)

JTBC, Monday -Tuesday
Aired May- July 2013

Marry Me Yoo AhIn!
Dramas and drama-ish show I talk about after the jump: WINMaster’s Sun and Good Doctor.

The Girl Who Cried Wolf
Dramas I talk about after the jump: Master’s Sun (eps 11-12). If you haven’t watched Master’s Sun yet, don’t read on. Major ass spoilers ahead...because major ass things went down!

Funny Mathematics
Master’s Sun (eps 9 & 10) is the only drama I chat about after the jump. But I am pretty sure I am going to start Good Doctor this week.

Heartless City (2013)
무정도시 / Cruel City
(May – July 2013)

Crossing Imaginary Lines
Dramas I will spoil after the jump: Master’s Sun (Eps 7-8). I am still watching Who Are You, but I have little to say on it, other than Kim JaeWook continues to be a handsome spectral figure. Oh, and I had to officially drop Goddess of Fire.

More fangirling over JiSub and HyoJin after the jump, and Master’s Sun (Episode 5 and 6) will be the only drama I yap about and spoil. It was the only one I managed to watch this week.

I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)
너의 목소리가 들려
(Jun – Jul 2013)

Bright Bright Taeyang
Dramas I will talk about and spoil after the  jump: Master’s Sun (until Ep 4). And some more thoughts on The Blade and the Petal (up to Ep6), and Who Are You (up to Ep6). And also, the craziest thing I saw this weekend: Kim WooBin fighting killer female robots.